LA PAZ – Rural laborers in southern Bolivia saved two Andean condors which became extremely ill after consuming poisoned dog meat, an activist who assisted with the rescue effort said.
The residents of the small community of Chaupi Kh’atalla found the large birds on Sunday afternoon and took them to Sucre, Bolivia’s constitutional capital and capital of the south-central province of Chuquisaca, for treatment by a private veterinarian, Ricardo Rivera told EFE on Tuesday.
“It took nearly five hours of strenuous work to stabilize them because they were convulsing, had very severe infections (and) were getting weaker,” said Rivera, who helped the attending veterinarian.
An attempt was then made on Monday to enlist the support of the Chuquisaca provincial government and the Sucre mayor’s office in finding a place for the condors to recover, but they both refused, citing a lack of facilities or expertise, the activist said.
For now, the vultures are being kept under medical surveillance at Rivera’s home in Sucre.
The activist said he will submit a written report on the episode to the Environment and Water Resources Ministry’s Biodiversity Directorate.
He also will file a criminal complaint asking prosecutors to investigate the case and bring charges against those who directly poisoned the dogs and indirectly poisoned the condors.
President Evo Morales signed a bill into law last month that, among other things, punishes the unlawful killing of an animal with a prison term of up to five years.
If more than one animal is killed, the sentence could be lengthened by a third.