If this process is overcome and stabilized, it goes through a quarantine process that varies depending on the taxonomic group. According to Johana, there are 30 days for birds and reptiles and 60 days for mammals, with the exception of primates that need 90 days. After this stage, they move to the rehabilitation area.
“There, his case is evaluated in detail is defined if it is suitable for rehabilitation for wildlife release or if it can be rehabilitated but must remain under human care (zoos, bioparks, aquariums or even if it is possible to permanently remain in the Wildlife Center of Bogotá) “, account.
In the worst case scenario, and even if it is a controversial measure, if its recovery is impossible, a committee of specialists evaluates the possibility of euthanasia. Yes, under a very strict protocol where their suffering is analyzed or if they have an irreparable injury, says Johana.
Aerial view of the Wildlife Center of Bogotá. Photo: District Institute for Animal Welfare and Protection.Aerial view of the Wildlife Center of Bogotá. Photo: District Institute for Animal Welfare and Protection.
The work done by wildlife centers for the survival and protection of wildlife often goes unnoticed.
On other occasions, the economic and technical effort that is made to preserve the life of the arriving animals is not measured. Johana says that the monthly operating costs of the Wildlife Center are around 177 million pesos (56,600 dollars).
Clara Lucía Sandoval, director of the District Institute for Animal Welfare and Protection, assures Mongabay Latam that the results have been positive: last year, 2900 animals were attended and in this year, until February, they were already 500. The fauna flow it is high, because just as many animals enter, others also leave in the direction of their liberation or to places where they can live properly in captivity.
In the first days of April the center had 832 animals in its facilities almost 50% are birds, mainly macaws, parrots and parakeets; followed by reptiles, especially terrapins that were considered pets; and the third group is that of mammals, mainly primates.
Clara Lucia Sandoval assures that many animals arrive at the center after seizure operations of the environmental and police authorities of the country, but that the highest income is given by voluntary deliveries; people who illegally possessed exotic fauna but later do not know what to do with it because they do not know their behavior and needs.
The problem with this is that, due to ignorance or lack of care, many animals arrive in regrettable and critical conditions. Although some manage to save themselves, the truth is that others die due to the seriousness of their situation.
Johana Izquierdo recalls the case of a baby tigrillo (Leopardus tigrinus) that, absurd as it may seem, was found abandoned in a plastic bag in a park in the north of Bogotá. “Unfortunately, it did not survive and that is perhaps a reflection of what happens when animals are held captive forcibly. We had him in intensive care, we spent whole nights with him but, despite his young age, he had a fracture in his femur, dehydration and severe malnutrition. It was impossible to save him, “he says.