Two crocodiles discovered in Alicante

Exotic species in alicante

Protected animals rescued by authorities. Credit: GuardiaCivil.es

In a significant move against the illegal wildlife trafficking and abandonment of protected species, the Guardia Civil has stepped up its efforts within the Alicante province.

Throughout 2023, noteworthy rescues included two Nile crocodiles, a two-metre-long Burmese python, and a hefty African spur tortoise tipping the scales at 25 kg, according to a report from the Guardia Civil on Sunday, March 31.

These operations spotlighted the tireless work of the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA), illustrating their commitment to safeguarding endangered species under the CITES Convention.

Uncovering illegal wildlife trade

In a detailed operation last August, SEPRONA officials recovered two Nile crocodiles, each around two metres long from a private estate in Partida El Moralet, Alicante.

The absence of necessary documentation for these creatures underscores the secretive nature of wildlife trafficking.

Similarly, other interventions in October led to the rescue of a burrowing parrot and a Venezuelan red-tailed parrot, found wandering public streets thanks to alerts from concerned citizens.

In addition, in late 2023, a two-meter-long Burmese python was found in the centre of Alicante. Other finds included an African spur tortoise, abandoned in the Sierra de Olta in Calpe.

Safe havens for rescued species

Once rescued, these animals were relocated to various sanctuaries equipped to cater to their specific needs. Here, experts assessed their health, and provide everything they can to improve the lives of these animals.

These centres are pivotal, providing not just medical care but also the correct environmental conditions and food in order for them to thrive.

Legal frameworks against offenders

Those found responsible for the illegal importation or abandonment of these animals could face hefty fines up to €6,000, or even criminal charges. This approach not only penalises the culprits but also serves as a deterrent to potential wildlife traffickers.

Community engagement in wildlife conservation

SEPRONA’s efforts are significantly bolstered by vigilant citizens who report suspicious activities. This communal vigilance is crucial for the early detection and intervention in potential wildlife crimes.

While the challenge of wildlife trafficking persists, the Guardia Civil, with the help of the community and specialised recovery centres, is making vital strides towards the conservation of endangered species.

Their actions not only rescue these animals from harmful situations but also contribute to the global fight against illegal wildlife trade.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

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