Four hundred and forty vulnerable animals have been returned to the wild in Almeria in the first six months of the year by animal welfare centre CREA.
The list of endangered species reads like the inventory for a modern-day Ark, and comprises mostly reptiles and birds but also includes turtles, tortoises, terrapins and chameleons. All are listed in the Red Book of threatened vertebrates of Andalucia.
The birds released include kestrels, owls, herons, curlews, nightjars, griffon vultures, a booted eagle and a falcon.
Many of the animals were formerly in captivity. Others have been confiscated from animal dealers and the rest were injured and brought in by members of the public
The animals have been nursed back to health by staff at CREA before being returned to their natural habitat.
José Manuel Ortiz, Delegate of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment expressed his appreciation for the work done by the public services and especially the valued collaboration of local people in Almeria. Speaking to Almeria 24h, he said: “Collaboration is essential when it comes to rescuing and recovering these species. If citizens did not alert us to the existence of these animals then their survival would be further endangered.”