‘Go be happy’: Thousands of baby river turtles released in Peruvian jungle

IQUITOS, Peru, Nov. 5 (Reuters) – About 3,000 baby river turtles native were released to the Amazon rainforest in a Peruvian river on Thursday after hatching the eggs die be kept on artificial beaches as part of a conservation effort.

The river turtles are considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Preservation of Nature and having for many years murdered for human consumption of kept as pets.

“The importance lies in preservation of the species in the area because it has already been threatened for a long time,” says Sabrina Pipa, a biologist who to work on the protection of freshwater turtles.

“The goal is repopulation of the species.”

The turtles bear the scientific name Podocnemis unifilis, but Peruvians call them taricayas. They are yellow-spotted and the baby those measure just a few of inches.

Baby River Turtles native to the Amazon rainforest before being liberated in Iquitos, Peru, Nov. 4, 2021. Photo taken Nov. 4, 2021. REUTERS/Alfredo Galarza

Peru has the second biggest share of the Amazon rainforest after Brazil.

Scientists agree that preserving the Amazon rainforest is vital for avoid catastrophic climate change because of to be ability capture greenhouse gases.

But over the past two decades, more then 19,700 square kilometers (7,600 square miles) of the Peruvian Amazon destroyed.

Pipa said the taricaya project began in 2019 and had protected about 6,000 river turtles, in next to the preserved this year.

People gathered in the city of Iquitos for the . to see baby turtles make their way down a river beach towards the water.

“Go! Go, be happy!” one the spectator sang.

Reporting by Alfredo Galarza; Written by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Giles Elgood

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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