- Title: VENEZUELA: VENEZUELAN ENVIRONMENTALISTS RELEASE DOZENS OF CAIMANS
- Date: 24th May 2004
- Summary: (BN17) COJEDES STATE, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) 1. SV PEOPLE FROM THE ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY CARRYING CRATES WITH THE CAIMANS IN THEM 0.05 2. CU CHILD LOOKING AT THE CAIMANS 0.09 3. CU CAIMANS IN CRATE 0.15 4. SV OF PEOPLE FROM THE ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY CARRYING CAIMAN CRATES THROUGH THE JUNGLE (3 SHOTS) 0.32 5. CU CAIMAN CRATES PILED UP 0.36 6. CU CHILD LOOKING AT THE CAIMAN 0.40 7. SV PERSON TAKING THE CAYMAN FROM A CRATE 0.48 8. CU OF CAIMAN WITH BANDAGES OVER THEIR EYES AND MOUTHS, ON THE GROUND (2 SHOTS) 1.05 9. MCU (Spanish) OMAR HERNANDEZ, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE FOUNDATION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHYSICS, MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCES (FUDECI), SAYING: "We are here in the Cojedes River, setting 182 caimans free, who have been raised in captivity for a year. These animals form part of the national rescue programme for the Orinoco caiman. On a national level there are five breeding places. These come from the Fudeci nursery in Puerto Ayacucho." 1.21 10. CU OF CAIMANS PILED UP ON TOP OF EACH OTHER 1.26 11. CU PEOPLE LOOKING AT THE CAIMAN 1.34 12. SV/CU OF OMAR TAKING THE BANDAGES FROM THE CAIMAN (2 SHOTS) 2.05 13. CU/SV OF PEOPLE SETTING THE CAIMAN FREE (3 SHOTS) 2.25 14. MCU (Spanish) EDIS SOLORZANO, DIRECTOR OF FAUNA FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, SAYING: "This year there are going to be about fifty that we're going to set free, to date. Up to today 3,746 caiman have been set free in the ten years of the programme. We are already reaching more than 4,000 who have been set free after having raised them for a year." 2.45 15. VARIOUS OF CAIMAN IN THE WATERS OF THE COJEDES RIVER (4 SHOTS) 3.09 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th June 2004 13:00
- Location: COJEDES, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Reuters ID: LVA633CA8USNCQK9KSI96LWRPW7I
- Story Text: Venezuelan environmentalists release dozens of
caimans, a reptile related to the alligator family, as part
of a conservation effort.
One hundred and eighty two Orinoco caiman were
recently set free in Venezuela's Cojedes river, some 300
kilometers from Caracas.
The reptiles, related to the alligator, were raised in
a breeding centre as part of a conservation programme. The
programme has been operating since 1990 and is aimed at
saving the Orinoco caiman, hunted for years for its skin,
which is used to manufacture shoes, bags, and coats.
Omar Hernandez, Director General of the Foundation for
the Development of Physics, Mathematics and Natural
Sciences (Fudeci), explained that the caimans returned to
the wild waters of the Cojedes, came from Puerto Ayacucho.
"We are here in the Cojedes River, setting 182 caimans
free, who have been raised in captivity for a year. These
animals form part of the national rescue programme for the
Orinoco caiman. On a national level there are five breeding
places. These come from the Fudeci nursery in Puerto
Ayacucho," he said.
The Orinoco caiman, which can reach a length of six
metres, used to inhabit the basin of the Orinoco river in
Colombia and Venezuela.
Edis Solorzano, the Director of Fauna at the Venezuelan
Ministry of the Environment, was present at the liberation
of the caimans.
"This year there are going to be about fifty that we're
going to set free, to date," explained Solorzano. "Up to
today 3,746 caimans have been set free in the ten years of
the programme. We are already reaching more than 4,000 who
have been set free after having raised them for a year."
Orinoco caiman usually measure between three and four
metres, and grow slowly. They reach maturity at thirteen
years, which is when they begin to reproduce. Reproduction
usually takes place in January and February. Their
offspring are born in March and April.
Once abundant in Venezuela and Colombia, the Orinoco
caiman has been hunted to near extinction, and must now
compete with other reptiles in order to survive.
The species is considered to be at critical risk of
extinction. Orinoco caiman are considered a vital part of
the ecosystems they inhabit, because they control
overpopulation in other species, which they eat.
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