Image copyright AFP Image caption Thousands of juvenile sea turtles and baby fish were released in the Peruvian jungle
Thousands of baby river turtles have been released back into the jungle of northern Peru.
They were among thousands of fish and turtles rescued by WWF Perú as part of its Hidden River Turtle and Fish Project.
Now rehabilitated, they are released in large groups and spread their new habitat over hundreds of acres, says WWF Perú.
Last year, 100,000 sea turtles were recovered from the Amazon and are now being monitored and trained.
“We do this project because this is our natural home. Our brothers and sisters are the same as us,” said José Luis Arevalo, WWF Perú’s marine program manager.
“The turtles and fish are the last survivors of their kind,” he added.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Thousands of baby turtles were carefully placed in their new habitat
Working in remote, tropical Amazonian areas, WWF staff also rescue sea turtles, primarily in a remote part of the northern Peruvian jungle, near the Galapagos Islands.
As recently as March, they rescued over 3,000 turtles.
Yarid Vicente, a wildlife officer at WWF Perú, said many of them had been found wounded by bites by a predator.
“Rugged, some were injured by fire or destroyed in the rainy season, but many, many others, like these, were alive,” he said.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Toddlers get the chance to try out new fishing techniques
Image copyright AFP Image caption Preserved in special pools of water, turtle hatchlings are rehabilitated at the shelter
Image copyright AFP Image caption Hundreds of turtles are released back into the wild each year
The biologists at WWF’s Upokono home now have several thousand animals to care for and there is an urgent need for bigger facilities and land to raise them.
Plans are underway to build the the biggest rehabilitation facility in the country but they face competing proposals to build housing for Peruvian police and traffic police.
“What we ask is that everyone look beyond money. Let’s work towards the environment. Let’s care about the survival of endangered species that help our country prosper, that support tourism and generate jobs,” said Mr Arevalo.
Green turtles are protected in Peru and are rare in remote regions where further development can disrupt their natural habitat.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Battered turtles found in a remote part of Peru, having been attacked by large predators
Image copyright AFP Image caption Wildlife officers tackle a band of sea turtles that were found stranded on a Peruvian beach
Image copyright AFP Image caption A wounded female sea turtle being treated in a clinic in Peru