Colombia is making the world a better place for animals today, as conservationists officially noted that they would be releasing 149 animals back into the wild after they were seized from animal traffickers. The animals would be released back into the Amazon, where they originally resided, by and large.
The massive collection of animals, which consisted of 83 reptiles, 13 mammals, and 53 birds were a part of a movement to return animals to their natural habitat. However, the mission simply wasn’t a catch-and-release type of mission. Instead, many of the animals had to undergo a 10-month preparation mission that predated the actual release. Unfortunately, not all of those animals were fit to be released as soon as they were captured from those who had trafficked them into regions where they otherwise should not have been.
Lorena Gomez of Valle del Cauca authority said, “We selected individual animals that could defend themselves in their environment, who weren’t too far along in adulthood so they wouldn’t fall easy prey.” Ultimately, what authorities had collected in the last two years was not limited to animals. Many plants were seized as well, which helped finance criminal gangs.
The United States shares the global communities efforts to reduce wildlife trafficking. Secretary of State John Kerry said in China last year while speaking at an event regarding this type of action pointing out that it’s much more than just a conservation issue. He said, “So, wildlife trafficking, yes, it’s a conservation problem. But it’s also an economic problem, it’s a health problem, it’s a security problem.”
That speaks to the larger concern that individuals in Western regions have on this matter. Ultimately, the money from these types of moves could be financing terrorist groups, or virtually any other militant group that could be considered a risk to major cities across the globe. Kerry went on to point out, “Wildlife trafficking does not exist in a vacuum.”
Undoubtedly, this will not be the only instance of animals, which were previously trafficked getting released back into the wild. This will be something that we start to see happen more regularly as a larger global initiative takes place to prevent wildlife trafficking from happening at all.