“Canelo” Álvarez’s featherweight debut and Beto Vega’s national anthem performance in the ring

Share your love

The Orinoco alligator, the largest predator in South America’s rivers, is in danger of extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The reptile, also known as the “Orinoco caiman” in Venezuela and “llanero caiman” in Colombia, is actually a crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) that can exceed six meters in length and weigh up to 400 kilograms. Initial captive breeding programmes began in Venezuela in 1990, however, the populations remain stagnant despite the release of more than 10,000 specimens in 33 years.

With this challenge in mind, a group of 160 young Orinoco alligators was released into the Capanaparo river, which crosses both Venezuela and Colombia, after being raised in captivity. The aim of the programme is to save the predator from disappearing in its natural habitat. Federico Pantin who manages the zoo and breeding centre that is collaborating with the project stressed that protection, surveillance, control, and environmental education are vital for conservation.

Initially, more than 2.5 million skins were exported from Venezuela between 1931 and 1934, leaving the Orinoco alligator near the brink of extinction during the first half of the 20th century. Today, although the trade in skins is prohibited, threats still exist, including the consumption of its meat and eggs and contamination of rivers and pipes.

One factor that is helping to boost the species’ numbers is “ranching,” or capturing the small hatchlings in the river and returning them to captivity. This alternative is successful as prey is abundant in the reptile’s natural environment. The young alligators are kept for a year in the breeding centre before being released into the wild, with over 95% currently surviving.

Read Also   Mission Impossible 7: Tom Cruise's Marvelous Leap of Faith into Cinematic Greatness

The release of the Orinoco alligators could also have a “tourist potential,” according to Diego Bilbao from Río Verde, who organises excursions to see the reptiles, especially If the locals perceive them as a “source of income”. The conservation programme also serves to introduce the idea of conservation to children during school visits.

Share your love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *