Centro de Rescate Amazónico (Amazon Rescue Center)
Iquitos – Perú
In February 2008, the DWA was contacted requesting assistance with four orphaned Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis) in Iquitos, Peru. The DWA immediately sent much needed powdered milk for the babies, medical supplies and funds to pay for their care. Arrangements were made for the manatees to temporarily live in a small pool that was located at a private house in Iquitos. They were soon moved to a larger site, as the program outgrew its first temporary quarters. That initial involvement resulted in a united effort among the DWA and local agencies, such as Dirección Regional de la Producción de Loreto, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana and Acobia-DWAzoo. The Amazon Rescue Center not only rescues and rehabilitates orphaned or injured mammals, it has an outstanding environmental education program that is the core of the conservation project. The center has rescued, rehabilitated and/or released other mammals including Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis), Giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), Neotropical otters (Lontra longicaudis), Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) and Jaguars (Panthera onca). Since 2008, 40 manatees have been part of the program, with the success of the program being demonstrated on Earth Day, 2011 when the first five manatees were released back into their natural habitat. An additional seven manatees have been released, with the release of two scheduled for 2014. Architectural plans for a permanent educational facility have been completed. The center also supports the local environment agencies with the temporary reception of confiscated animals that are rehabilitated and sent back to the wild.