(Photo Archive)

MÉRIDA, Yucatán, (January 3, 2022).- Jaguars, spider monkeys, and coatis are some of the animals that the El Centenario Zoo received in safekeeping in 2021 after they were confiscated by the authorities.

In total, the zoo, classified as a Unit for the Promotion of Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wildlife (UMA), received 27 confiscated animals and six donations, reports Arturo Antuña Silveira, deputy director of Municipal Public Services of the City Council.

The animals, says the official, are of eleven different species, among which are the leopard geckos that were confiscated at the airport; the spider monkeys found at the ADO station, and the coatis confiscated by the National Guard in the Valladolid area. There are also jaguars, howling monkeys, and flamingos.

Antuña Silveira points out that it is a rule that the UMAs protect the animals that are confiscated by the federal authorities – through Profepa, Semarnat, National Guard – or the SSP.

By age and custom, he says, both the public and the authorities transfer the animals to the Centennial, from where, in some cases due to capacity and space, these are transferred to the Animaya Zoo.

“We constantly receive wild or exotic species not only through the authorities but the public itself takes them, donates them or donates them voluntarily.” Among the animals that citizens have brought, the boas they find in their yard stand out.— Iván Canul Ek

Antuña Silveira emphasizes that every confiscated animal receives a procedure that the federal authorities mark. “The first thing is to do the documentation, register the specimen, and determine if it is wild or illegal.”

Then he adds that once the protocol is established, the animal is placed under the protection of the UMA and is placed in quarantine, in addition to providing all the care, since there are cases in which they arrive mistreated.

Once the animal is recovered, the federal or state authorities are notified and studies are carried out to find out if it is imprinted; that is to say, because it had lived with humans for a long time, it could no longer survive in the wild.

In this case, they remain in the zoo for reproductive purposes and to add to the attractions.

In the case of the animals that are reintegrated, Antuña Silveira points out that if they are from the region, the place for their release is determined with the authorities, which may be the Cuxtal, El Palmar, Bocas de Dzilam, or the Río Lagartos biosphere reserves.

This year, Antuña Silveira highlights, 12 animals were released, including snakes, crocodiles, and birds.

It also reports that this year 20 animals were exchanged to other zoos. The exchange, he explains, occurs in two aspects: by species of animals that we do not have in our collection and the one we want for blood exchange.

“This year we brought ring-tailed lemurs and marmosets,” he reported.

Process

Once the animal is recovered, the federal or state authorities are notified and studies are carried out to find out if it is imprinted; that is to say, because the animal had lived with humans for a long time, it could no longer survive in the wild. In this case, they remain in the zoo for reproductive purposes and to add to the attractions.



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