The native Amazonian baby turtles were freed in the province of Maynas, Loreto in an effort to repopulate the species.
The joyous event took place during the first Fresh Water Turtle Festival in Manyas, reports El Comercio. The yellow-spotted river turtles, or tortugas taricayas in Spanish, are native to the region. The mission on this day was to free around 5,500 baby turtles into the Nanay, Itaya and Momón rivers. It was an effort to repopulate the species.
Many factors contribute to the turtle being in danger of extinction. This includes contamination of river water, illegal trafficking of the species as well as the consumption of its eggs. The population in the area consume these because of their high protein value. The event was a joint effort between the National Service for Protected Natural Areas; the Ministry of Environment; the Municipality of Maynas; and AJE Group, the privately held multinational producer of beverages.
The taricaya eggs were purchased by AJE from 463 families that are a part of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The families thus received income as an incentive to help repopulate the species and preserve the region’s ecosystem.
Additionally, the turtle eggs were buried for incubation in the sands of the (artificial) beaches of Mayna’s Plaza Bolognesi and other areas in the city. The incubation process takes between 50-70 days. The event took place in a public spaces to raise awareness and have citizens feel included in the process. This was the first time the event took place in an urban zone since the repopulation project started in 1979.
Watch the (adorable) video below:
Source: El Comercio