Nearly 150 wild animals have been released back into the Amazon by Corporación Autonoma Regional del Valle del Cauca, Colombia’s environmental state agency.
A Colombian Air Force plane was loaded with crates and cages of rescued and rehabilitated wild animals that had been seized from traffickers.
The animals were taken by Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Over the past two years, the Ministry says they’ve seized about 55,000 plant specimens and wild animals used to finance criminal gang activity.
The 149 animals, which consisted of 83 reptiles, 53 birds and 13 mammals, including wild cats and Capuchin monkeys, underwent 10 months of rehabilitation before being released.
According to Phys.org, a department environmental authority with Valle del Cauca said many of the animals underwent surgery to repair skin and plumage damage.
The animals were also given medical examinations to ensure they were disease free.
Lorena Gomez, a biologist with 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.”
After a two-hour flight from Palmira to Solano, the animals then traveled for a five-hour boat ride that took them deep into the Amazon jungle where they were released.