La Senda Verde Animal Refuge (LSV) was established in 2003, and throughout these years illegal animal trafficking and deforestation have drastically increased in Bolivia. Wildlife crime encompasses wildlife trafficking and deforestation, amongst other illegal practices. After trafficking in arms, drugs and people, wildlife crime is the 3rd most lucrative crime in the world. As a result of this, the animal population at LSV has more than quadrupled in the past five years. LSV is now a refuge to 800 rescued animals and 65 species.
Since its early days, LSV has constantly evolved, built experiences, and improved operations. The project has grown very fast and increasingly receives rescued wild animals from all over Bolivia.
More than 90% of these animals arrive at the refuge with some sort of emotional and physical traumas like broken bones, fractured wings, missing limb, impaired vision, open infected wounds, gun shots and bullets in their bodies, among others. Our three vets and interns work around the clock, and it's always with animals being treated and rehabilitated. When out of their natural habitat, turtles and tortoises frequently have different bone, shell and egg related disorders that need instant attention.
We do not have an X Ray equipment and must take the animals to the city of La Paz (three hours’ drive, from 1000 to 4500 masl) for the needed first X-rays, and later for follow up examinations. This situation prevents us to make immediate assessments and respond fast enough. Furthermore, the journey is a risky and distressing ride for the animals.
One of the greatest goals we have ever had is having our own X Ray equipment at LSV, which would greatly improve the lives of our animals and reduce the expenses for the refuge; with it, lives can be saved.