Thousands of newborn baby river turtles were released into the Amazon in Peru on Monday, in an operation to protect the animals from illegal hunters. Each of the 16,000 turtles was held in a cage in downtown Lima, where it was joined by dozens of other female turtles brought in to be hand-reared. It took less than 10 minutes for the baby turtles to be released into the forest outside of Cajamarca, prompting applause from those watching in awe.
“Go be happy,” Cesar Tota, director of the Peruvian chapter of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, said to the baby turtles at one point as they swam out to sea. They will spend the next few years laying eggs as part of the Inter-Amazonian Logistics Project, which coordinates efforts to expand and protect the Peruvian jungle.
Wildlife workers in Peru capture a baby to protect it from illegal hunters. ▲ This turtle had its tail removed from the scene so that it wouldn’t sting people who were rescuers. ▲ Staff and activists of the Peruvian Wildlife Society and the NGO Eco-Zone converged on the section of the forest where the turtles were found and transported the baby turtles there. ▲ Peruvian Wildlife Society (PWS) staff nurse the baby fish in a frog pot to treat it after it was caught. ▲ Animal services coordinator Olmos Taquera gets to grips with the tiny turtle. ▲ Staff nurse the turtles as they are brought to the rescue site. ▲ This baby river turtle is nursed on a local street by an animal rescue worker. ▲ Fernando Avalos treats baby turtles that have been caught by soldiers. ▲ Roberto Moreno feeds a baby sea turtle that is fed by the mechanics of a tractor he is operating. ▲