Animals of colonel’s illegal zoo freed

This video says about itself:

18 August 2016

From the extremely spiritual and important Swinhoe’s Soft-shell Turtle, to the enigmatic greater Bamboo Lemur, these are 22 of the RAREST Creatures on Earth!

A symbol of Vietnam’s independence died in 2016. The critically endangered Swinhoe’s softshell turtle was found dead in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem (Hone Keem) Lake. Better known as Yangtze (yank-zee) turtles, experts claim it was one of only four such turtles in existence. One lives in a different lake in Hanoi while the other two live in a zoo in China. Estimated to be between 80 to over 100 years old, the 440 pound animal is considered to be the rarest turtle species on the planet. The animal’s death caused a nationwide outpouring of grief … rare sightings of it were deemed to be good fortune, giving it a key role in Vietnamese mythology. In a story taught to generations of Vietnamese schoolchildren, the turtle is considered the sacred custodian of the magic sword of the 15th century rebel leader Le Loi, who vanquished Chinese invaders.

Pygmy Three Toed Sloth — aka the Monk Sloth or Dwarf Sloth, it’s native to the small island Isla Escudo de Veraguas (vair-ah-gwas) off the coast of Panama. Because the animal is found only in the red mangroves of the Panamanian island, its numbers have always been low … but in 2012, the sloth’s total population was estimated at only 79. They’re listed as critically endangered.

Javan Rhino — This one-horned species of rhino is known to survive in just one location — the Ujung Kulon (you-jung ko-lon) National Park in western Java. The population of rhinos there is thought to number no more than 61 animals. Quite possibly the rarest large mammal in the world, the rhino’s numbers have declined as a result of poaching and loss of habitat.

Ploughshare Tortoise — This species of tortoise is only found in the dry forests of the Baly Bay area in northwest Madagascar. Its colorful shell makes it a target for poachers engaged in the illegal international pet trade. Population estimates for the tortoise range from 440 to 770, but those numbers are decreasing. The tortoise has a very high risk of extinction, possibly becoming extinct in the next 10 to 15 years.

Dusky Gopher Frog — Native to the southern US, this frog once flourished along the Gulf Coastal Plain in Mississippi, Alabama, and lower Louisiana. Today, the only known population remaining is comprised of about 100 adult frogs from a single site in Harrison County, Mississippi. The Dusky Gopher Frog is considered the most rare amphibian in North America.

Greater Bamboo Lemur — Named as one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates, it’s current range is held to southeastern Madagascar, although fossils indicate it may have roamed as far north on the island as Ankarana. Recent estimates place the population at around 500 individuals.

Red Crested Tree Rat — About the size of a guinea pig, this animal was sighted for the first time in decades in 2011. Prior to that, its last recorded sighting was in 1898 … back then, two creatures that were found and studied, serving as the source of all information about the animal until it reappearance after 113 years. There’s no information concerning the size of its population, but it has been listed as critically endangered since its habitat in coastal Colombia is affected by feral cats, deforestation and climate change.

Gooty Tarantula — aka the Metallic Tarantula, it’s found in India … what’s left of them, anyway. Actually the size of its population is unknown. Deforestation and firewood collection are reasons for this spider facing a decline in its populations.

Araripe Manakin — This critically endangered bird was discovered in 1996 and is native to the Araripe Uplands in the northeastern region of Brazil. Its total population is estimated at 500 pairs of the animal surviving today. Due to threats from deforestation and water diversion, the bird is listed among the world’s 100 most threatened species.

Tonkin Snub Nosed Monkey — Native to Vietnam, these animals are known for their black and white coloring and pink nose. They were thought to be extinct until the 1990s, until it was rediscovered in 1992. Despite conservation efforts, it continues to be listed as among the world’s 25 most endangered primates. In 2008, less that 250 primates were thought to exist.

Madagascan PochardThe extremely rare diving duck was thought to have gone extinct in the late 1990s … but the species was rediscovered in Madagascar in 2006. As of 2013, the population numbered approximately 80 individuals. Rice cultivation, cattle grazing on shores, and hunting are among the factors that have led to the duck’s diminishing numbers.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Malnourished chimpanzee in rusty cage in illegal zoo Guinea

Today, 09:20

In Guinea an illegal zoo of rare animals has been closed down. A colonel of the Guinean army had captured 33 animals for sale, including crocodiles, parrots, a serval, baboons, tortoises and a chimpanzee.

There is a lot of money in Guinea in the illegal animal trade. Not only ivory and skins of exotic animals are sold, also live specimens of rare species are traded by criminal gangs.

The zoo was detected during an investigation of four years by a wildlife organization, Interpol and the Ministry of the Environment of Guinea. During raids three people were arrested in two places, the colonel later reported to the police.

Rusty cages

The animals were kept in rusty cages that were often too small. The chimpanzee was malnourished and was also kept alone, while chimpanzees live in groups.

Many of the animals have now been released in a national park. Exceptions are some animals that are not native, like ostriches and a few turtles.

The chimpanzee must be in quarantine first, to recuperate and to make sure it can not transmit diseases.

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