In Brazil’s wildlife care centers, struggles and successes go unseen

In Brazil’s wildlife care centers, struggles and successes go unseen

On Feb. 15 this year, the day after Valentine’s, a two-toed sloth was checked into the government-run wildlife screening center in Manaus, in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, for some much-needed TLC. The sloth, which staff had named Rainha, Portuguese for “Queen,” had previously climbed up an electricity pole and been zapped and fallen, fracturing a leg and sustaining other injuries. Rainha, a Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus), a species found north of the Amazon River, underwent surgery to put pins in her leg, and faced months of injections and daily cleansing of her wounds. To aid in her recovery, with the ultimate goal of returning her to the wild, staff at the screening center, known as CETAS, gave her grapes. Rainha, it turns out, loved grapes. That TLC eventually paid off: On Aug. 7, Rainha left the CETAS, and her adopted name, and returned to being one more sloth living freely in the forest. Hers is one of the success stories from the handful of wildlife care centers scattered across this unfathomably biodiverse country. What largely goes untold is the daily struggle by the staff just to get by and overcome countless difficulties in caring for animals that are often rescued from traffickers and illegal captivity, or, like Rainha, among the growing number swept up in the human expansion into their habitat. Puma cub at the Center for Management and Conservation of Wild Animals (CeMaCAs) of the city of São Paulo. Image by SVMA SP. Brazil has a network…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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