On Tuesday, June 23rd, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) rescued 20 wild animals that had been abandoned in wagons near the Ixmatkuil area in Merida, Yucatan.
Profepa explained that among the rescued animals, allegedly owned by a circus, there were four camels (Camelus bactrianus); three dromedaries (Camelus dromedarius); six Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris); and seven baboons (Papio hamadryas), including three babies in very bad condition, completely devoid of any human care or attention.
Profepa inspectors said that the camels bear scars, dermatitis and skin diseases without treatment, and were found in severe state of dehydration and low weight, they were left tied to a wagon with a muzzle that kept them from eating or drinking water apparently for a long period of time.
In regard to the six Bengal tigers (four females and two males) it was detected that one of them had limb mutilations and they all were in severe state of weakness and starvation.
In addition, one of the felines had no fangs or claws, and was left locked in a cage too small for the size of the specimen.
As for the baboons, three males, one female and three young, they all showed signs of alopecia, severe state of rickets, removal of teeth and skin diseases without treatment.
The specimens were rescued and secured by Profepa with support of staff from the “Zoológico Centenario de Mérida”, which has registration with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), as an authorized facility for the handling of Wildlife in Merida, Yucatan (Predio Intensivo de Manejo de la Vida Silvestre / PIMVS).
Profepa explained that all these animals are considered exotic and handling of specimens and populations of this type is regulated by the General Law of Wildlife.
This legislation states that the management of these specimens can only be carried out in proper conditions of confinement to ensure the safety of civil society and the dignified and respectful treatment of animals.
The violation of this regulation and actions that contravene the provisions of dignity and respect of wildlife can have a penalty that could go from $3,500 to $3,500,000 pesos, established by the General Law of Wildlife.
Given these facts, Profepa reiterated its call on circuses to comply with the decree published in the Official Journal of the Federation on January 9, 2015, which comes into effect next July 8.
The decree prohibits the use of wildlife specimens in circuses and states that circuses have to submit to Semarnat the list of animals, so they can be assigned to the best sites for their support and care.
Photos provided to The Yucatan Times by PROFEPA
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