As part of an official work plan to strengthen the capacity of Salvadorian authorities to treat and rehabilitate confiscated wild animals, Humane Society International is providing wildlife management training along with wildlife handling equipment the country’s Ministry of Environment and the National Police.
The donated equipment includes kennels, snake tongs and bags, nets, gloves and other handling equipment, valued at almost $6,000. Earlier this month, Guatemalan wildlife expert, Dr. Fernando Martinez, provided training to Salvadorian authorities on animal handling techniques and equipment use, on behalf of HSI.
Andrea Borel, executive director of HSI/Latin America, said: “We are proud of the work with the Ministry of the Environment and the Environment Police to protect El Salvador’s wildlife. This training and specialized equipment will allow rescuers to humanely handle wild animals who have been illegally captured, so that we can get them the proper treatment and rehabilitation, and return them to the wild where they belong.”
Traffickers typically capture wildlife, especially armadillos and iguanas, to sell their body parts for food. Traffickers also trade macaws, parrots, parakeets, toucans, monkeys and falcons/hawks in the exotic pet trade or for illegal exhibition in hotels and restaurants that cater to tourists. Rescuers typically find iguanas suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition and with their legs tied to make them easier to handle when being sold. Birds and mammals face a similar situation, though captors often stuff them in small, dirty cages or boxes for transport. Smugglers prefer to sell birds as babies, with most birds dying during the selling and extraction process.
Between August and September of this year, the Ministry, the Environment Police and HSI jointly organized six operations to confiscate illegally attained wildlife. The operations resulted in the rescue of 70 animals, including deer, monkeys, raccoons, turtles, snakes, birds and a coyote. The animals are now safe and undergoing rehabilitation to be later released in their habitats.
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