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Two pumas escaped after sabotage at a refuge in Puerto Iguazú

2023-05-30T15:33:09.754Z

Highlights: Two adult pumas escaped from the "Güirá Oga" Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Iguazú. One was recaptured, but the other is still being sought. A man smashed the padlock on his compound at the Güirán Oga center. The two mountain lions escaped on Saturday, but within hours one had been recaptured.. The biologists and veterinarians will again make a tour of the place to try to locate the puma, which always lived in captivity.


One was recaptured, but the other is still being sought. A man smashed the padlock on his compound at the Güirá Oga center.


The "Güirá Oga" Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Iguazú suffered sabotage that caused the escape of two adult puma specimens, one of which could be recaptured within a few hours. Under an intense rain, a man entered the property and broke the huge padlock of a gate that is only used to enter large elements for the environmental enrichment of the huge corral of the pumas that were recovered from poachers when they tried to market them.

The incident occurred on Saturday mid-afternoon. Jorge Anfuso, the person in charge of "Güirá Oga", said that "everything occurred between 15.45 and 16.15, which is when cleaning personnel detected an open gate that was secured with a large padlock. The police told us that they didn't cut him but beat him up."

Immediately, the refuge applied the protocol they have for these cases: tourists were evacuated and also staff who are not linked to wildlife management. An hour later, with a tranquilizer dart, one of the felines was captured, who was very close to the enclosure. Anfuso said that "yesterday we located the second one 50 meters from the corral but we could not approach and the dart has a range of only fifteen meters."

This Tuesday the biologists and veterinarians will again make a tour of the place to try to locate the puma, which always lived in captivity. "They are two pumas that the Ministry of Ecology rescued when they were very small and poachers offered them for sale after killing the mother," he explained.

Güira Oga. The two mountain lions escaped on Saturday, but within hours one was recaptured.

As they could not develop their hunting instinct, both remain for seven years in "Güirá Oga", in an enclosure of 700 square meters that have important security measures: masonry walls and triple meshing in the upper area.

About the sabotage, Anfuso said that "a neighbor of our shelter told us that on Saturday his dogs began to bark insistently and when he left he found a man covered with a layer of rain, who came out of the property, about 80 meters from the enclosure of the pumas. It is the first time in 27 years that we have suffered such an event. It's very rare, most of our neighbors are people linked to conservation, so it's a person who came from somewhere else," the conservationist added.

Anfuso acknowledged that today is a key day for recapture. "We are talking about a puma that is used to eating every day and has not done so since Saturday, so it is likely that it will move away from our property in search of food," he said. "We are going to do a rake with few people because we do not want them to be scared and leave," he warned.

"Güirá Oga" operates on a 20-hectare property at the access to Puerto Iguazú and is connected to reserves. In that property, Anfuso and his wife, Silvia Elsegood, have housed about 350 animals, mostly birds. These are animals that were injured by vehicles on the roads or come from mascotism and cannot be reinserted into nature.

"We made the complaint and the police came, took pictures of the broken padlock. They told us that it was not cut, but that they opened it with a very precise blow, which was done by someone with knowledge," Anfuso said.

The conservationist said that "on the property we do not have security cameras because the humidity is so high that they break down quickly. We only kept some that we used to study the behavior of some animals." And he added that as a result of the sabotage "the decision was made to place the new padlock of that gate on the inside side of the enclosure" of the pumas.

From "Güirá Oga" they stressed that all the enclosures of the refuge "even that of small and harmless birds, have a double security door system: while the caretaker does not close one door he cannot open the other" and that the place where the pumas are housed was always in charge of two people.

Posadas. Correspondent

ACE

See also

For protecting penguins, an Argentine scientist won the "Nobel" of animal conservation

Shocking rescue of a sea lion "hanged" by a plastic strap

Source: clarin

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