Ocelots rescued from traffickers returned to wild in Ecuador

Ocelots (like these pictured in 2015 at a center in Colmbia before their return to the wild) are found in the rain forest across South and Central America and even as far north as Texas.

Six ocelots rescued from illegal wildlife traffickers have been returned to the wild in northern Ecuador, the environment ministry said on Saturday.

“They released six female ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in the Cotacachi Cayapas Reserve,” near the border with Colombia, it said in a statement.

“All the specimens returned to their natural habitat after a rehabilitation period of approximately one year.”

Rescuers said the ocelots were dewormed and blood samples were taken to assess their health. They were also marked with microchips to identify them in the future.

The nocturnal wildcats were released “in an area where humans have no contact with them and where they can live in their habitat and develop freely,” according to Placido Palacios, director of the private James Brown Rescue Center, where the animals underwent rehabilitation.

Illegal wildlife trafficking is punishable with up to three years in prison in Ecuador.

Over the past seven years more than 6,000 wild animals have been rescued from the trade, according to figures from the country’s environment ministry.

Japanese man jailed for smuggling insects from Ecuador

© 2021 AFP

Ocelots rescued from traffickers returned to wild in Ecuador (2021, September 12)
retrieved 12 September 2021

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