A shipment from Brazil of highly endangered animals stopped

A shipment from Brazil of highly endangered 12 Lear’s Macaws and 17 Golden Lion Tamarins on a sailing boat stopped and 5 traffickers arrested.

Following an arrest and seizure by the Gendarmerie, the EAGLE Togo Team assisted in establishing the illegality of the shipment including fraudulent CITES permits from Guyana. The Team also helped with the care for the fragile animals and connected the two sides of the illegal shipment, in constant collaboration with Freeland that coordinated the Brazil side with the Brazilian authorities. The Ministry of the Environment and Forest Resources (MERF) and the Brazilian Ambassador to Togo were integral in saving the animals and in reaching a good outcome. Brazil sent a large governmental delegation to coordinate the investigation, treat the endangered animals and take them back to Brazil.

The main trafficker of Israeli/Belarus/Russian/Kazakhstan nationalities collaborated with corrupt Gendarmes to secure his safe passage out of the cell and out of the country. He exhibited a pattern of a hardened criminal carrying multiple identification documents with altered names and details.

EAGLE-Togo helped MERF to contact the CITES Management Authorities of Guyana and Benin. The CITES Management Authority of Guyana stated that it had not issued any permits for such species. The Benin CITES Management Authority said the same, even adding that the importer on the permit was a fictitious company, and did not exist in their farm registration directory.

Lear’s Macaw – Only about 1,200 are left in the wild, and mere 120 nesting pairs. It lives only on a small locality in north-east Brazil. It has been considered extinct in the wild before this locality was discovered in 1978.

Golden Lion Tamarin – About a mere 3,200 left in the wild. In the 1990s they were barely hanging on to a thread of survival with only 150 remaining. Their numbers increased thanks to tireless conservation efforts of breeding and reintroduction.

Two of the photos published here under the Togo section show the Tamarins in poor state after seizure and one after treatment by flown in Brazilian vets with assistance from the local team.