The story of Baloo, a Great Green Macaw, is a fine example how organizations and governments in Latin America collaborate to protect endangered species.
The Ara Project provides sanctuary for rescued and confiscated macaws for breeding and release into the wild at its breeding and reintroduction centers in Costa Rica. In April 2014, a Great Green Macaw, Baloo, was released from the reintroduction station in Manzanillo to join the more than 30 macaws that had already been released over the last months. When shortly after his release the macaw disappeared and could not be found, the organization put an alert on their social networks.
One day, Chiquita’s Kherson Ruiz, San San Project leader and marine biologist, not only saw the social media post, but also found the bird. Baloo was sitting on a beach in Panama, weak and tangled in some debris. After having called The Ara Project and explaning Baloo’s poor physical condition, Kherson and the organization decided to bring the macaw back to the station in Costa Rica.
Transporting an endangered species across international boarders is no easy task, and nearly impossible under “normal” circumstances. Thanks to long-lasting, stable relationships with the government, Kherson called the Panamanian ANAM authorities, while members of The Ara Project got in touch with the Costa Rican Ministry of the Environment. As both Chiquita’s San San Project and The Ara Project are active in biodiversity conservation, the governments’ agencies agreed to facilitate Baloo’s return from Panama to the Manzanillo station in Costa Rica.
After a few days of organizing the two delegations met on the bridge and the transfer was carried out successfully. Baloo has now regained his strength at the pre-release aviary and is preparing for his next opportunity to fly free.
We think the collaboration between the San San Project and The Ara Project is a good example how like-minded organizations may successfully work together.
© images: The Ara Project