Colombia releases almost 2,000 rescued animals back into the wild

Matamata turtle, photo: Mark Kostich via Canva
Matamata turtle, photo: Mark Kostich via Canva

More than 1,900 turtles, reptiles and amphibians were released into lagoons and forests in Colombia’s Meta province over the weekend. The animals were rescued from wildlife trafficking, officials said.

Most of the animals were matamata turtles, known for their ridged shells. The other animals were 27 other turtles from two different species, 15 iguanas, a zopilote snake and multiple frogs and toads.

“With the help of our veterinarians, we have rehabilitated and recovered these animals so they can be liberated in their natural habitat,” Camilo Rincon, the head of environmental control at Bogota’s environmental office, said about the in total 1960 released animals.

Between June 2020 and June 2021, 3,835 animals were rescued from trafficking by the environmental office and the police. So far, around 3,222 of those have been placed back into their natural habitats.

Colombia is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries by square kilometer and home to around 10% of the world’s flora and fauna.

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