In November of last year, 216 exotic frogs were seized at the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá. When the authorities rescued them, they left them in the hands of the Wildlife Center that operates in the Colombian capital. "It seems incredible but they were hidden in photographic rolls.
The scanner detected them because they began to move. Unfortunately, some were already dead and others had their fingers fractured, probably when they were put in the jars, "recalls Johana Izquierdo, leader of the Wildlife area of the institute.
They were kept under his care for a month. A great challenge, as these amphibians require very precise conditions of humidity, temperature and power. Added to this, biologists, animal scientists and veterinarians had to perform extensive molecular tests to determine that frogs did not have the dreaded chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium) is causing the extinction and decline of populations of several species.
List of Thousands of Wild Animals are Saved Per Year in Bogota Area
Finally, in December 2018, amphibians were released in the jungles of the Pacific, in the departments of Cauca, Narino and Chocó, where they originated.
The Wildlife Center of Bogotá is perhaps the institution of the country that receives the most animals from the trafficking of species and the illegal possession of wildlife, and not only from the city or the department of Cundinamarca but from all the Colombian regions. While many centers enter about 20 animals monthly, here, on average, there are 280 animals per month that need attention.
The protocol for the reception of an animal is more complex and extensive than one might think. It is not just about receiving a bird, a reptile or a mammal. Behind that process, at the Wildlife Center of Bogotá, there is a long route and a group of 17 specialists working on the care that animals need.
The first thing that is done is the taxonomic identification. "A general assessment of their condition is made and if the animal is well, but needs a stabilization moment, it goes to an area called arrival.
It is like a pre-quarantine where it is stabilized, especially emotionally, because many times they come from a control action where they go through great moments of stress and nervousness, "says Johana. On arrival, they remain for two or three days. Only after this time does the handling of the animal begin and income is given.
Once you formally enter the center, a kind of resume is drawn up, establishing your health status and the treatment you need. This is the usual process, but if the animal arrives very seriously, it immediately goes to the hospital or intensive care unit, where it is permanently monitored.