Wildfires in Bolivia are destroying forests and killing animals

Wildfires in the Santa Cruz department in southern Bolivia have reached the Nembi Guasu conservation area, killing ocelots, tortoises, peccaries, armadillos, and birds.

The animals died from carbon monoxide poisoning, local veterinarian Jerjes Suarez said. Authorities reported that almost 600,000 hectares of forests had been burned.

“Here we can see this habitat where everything is burned down. Two lifeless leopards, this – the death of animals – is what fires cause,” Suarez said while standing over the bodies of two dead leopards.

“In this case, they died intoxicated by the smoke. The smoke, the carbon monoxide kills them,” Suarez added.

The conservation area is located within the indigenous municipality of Charagua. Nine cities, including Charagua, have declared a state of emergency. The area is at extreme risk of forest fires due to high temperatures, strong winds, and drought.

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