AKUMAL, Q. Roo — On Sunday September 17, 14 birds of prey, among them eagles and owls that are protected by federal regulations, were taken to shelter and treatment in one of the Environmental Management Units (UMA) currently located in the Riviera Maya.
Akumal Natura Rescue will be the home during the next months of the new “guests” that arrived with diverse types of ailments, like broken wings and diseases, after they were rescued by Profepa from illegal traffickers in other states of the Mexican Republic.
Subsequently, it is the Semarnat that channels these wild animals to attention centers. 50 new specimens have arrived just in the first half of September this year.
“These animals have been confiscated from illegal traffickers, most of them are injured due to unsuitable conditions of captivity and require specialized veterinary treatment. Thanks to the agreement between ORGFAS and Akumal Natura Rescue, these animals are treated for injuries, deseases or psychological trauma and then released back to the wild, “said Román Weikop, president of the Mexican Organization of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Reproduction of Wildlife (ORGFAS).
Antonio Piru Alonso, owner of the Environmental Management Unit, reported that this project seeks to implement the Rehabilitation, Reproduction and Reintegration processes of wild animals that arrive in poor health conditions.
He recalled that this project was born after July 17, 2005, when Hurricane Emily hit the coast of Quintana Roo, and they recieved and treated a large number of injured animals. Therefore, they decided to legally process the corresponding official formalities before the federal authorities to become an approved Environmental Management Unit (UMA).
“We do not collect animals, we work by the law of the three ‘r’s’: Rehabilitation, Reproduction and Reintegration. The greatest satisfaction is the last one, although not all the animals can be reintegrated, since in many cases, the behavior of some of these species is altered irreversibly, so we have to keep them, and they help us in activities of environmental education with children and families that visit our facility,” said the animal welfare activist.
In the case of birds that arrive with injuries and require some type of surgical intervention, physical therapy work has to be carried out too, so that they can recover motor functionality of their bodies, before being released back to the wild.
Both interviewees agreed that “UMAs” are a fundamental conservation tool, which must be maintained for the reproduction and release of species with adequate rehabilitation protocols.
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