Wildlife emergency in Bolivia as fires threaten animal sanctuaries

Wildlife emergency in Bolivia as fires threaten animal sanctuaries

Fire at Ambue Ari. Courtesy of CIWY. A ghastly orange grin extends across the treetops in Guarayos, Bolivia, marking a cruel turn of fate for rescued wildlife. On the ground, the air is too smoky to breathe, and hot enough to scorch. The woods are so dry that everything burns. Fire is eating its way through one of the world’s great efforts on behalf of wild animals rescued from illegal trafficking, poaching, and habitat destruction. The Ambue Ari Sanctuary of Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is under severe fire threat. It is one of three CIWY-run sanctuaries caring for a total of over 500 rescued animals across 39 species, some of which are endangered. CIWY is a Bolivian non-profit that rescues and protects wild animals. This is the frontline of a wildlife emergency already weeks in the making and now overwhelming all containment efforts. The fire takes what is living, chokes it, burns it, and then casts glowing embers onto other areas, expanding its reach. Ambue Ari is being ravaged. Because of the pandemic, this year the sancutary does not have even half volunteer staff normally available to help with the recurring wildfires—restrictions have all but stopped the entry of new people to the area. Beyond the animals the center houses and cares for, there are thousands of other animals that have found refuge in the sanctuary that are also threatened, burned, and displaced. Puma at Ambue Ari Sanctuary of Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi. Courtesy of CIWY The fires started…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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