Brazil police repatriate exotic native animals trafficked to Togo

  • World
  • Tuesday, 27 Feb 2024

A Lear’s macaw is seen after members of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) rescued it in Africa and brought it back to Brazil, at the Sao Paulo International Airport, in Guarulhos, Brazil, February 26, 2024. REUTERS/Carla Carniel

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's federal police and environmental protection agency Ibama have repatriated native parrots and monkeys suspected of having been illegally trafficked to Togo, the force said.

The animals arrived back in Brazil over the weekend, the federal police said in a statement on Monday.

The operation, which was supported by several countries, located 12 parrots of the Lear's macaw species and 17 golden lion tamarins on Feb. 12 in Togo's capital Lome. The animals had crossed the Atlantic on a Brazil-flagged sailboat.

Four men - a Uruguayan, a Surinamese, a Brazilian and a Togolese - were arrested by Togo's authorities when the boat ran into problems off the coast and was boarded by local police.

Each macaw, according to sources involved in the investigation, is worth between $60,000 and $100,000 on clandestine markets; the tamarins go for $15,000 each.

The animals were in poor condition, as they were mistreated and their cages were covered in motor oil, said Ibama's coordinator for the management of fauna and aquatic biodiversity, Juliana Junqueira.

"They suffered a lot. Their conditions were deplorable. So we're going to have to do more in-depth rehabilitation, but we're aiming to return them to the wild," she said.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito and Leonardo Benassato; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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