Escudo de la República de Colombia
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English

Rehabilitated ant eater returns to his habitat

In the coming days an ant eater will be returned to his natural habitat after being rehabilitated at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal).

Bogotá D. C., 11 de agosto de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

In total 13,320 animals have been treated at URRAS since it began operations in 1996.

Lina María Puentes, URRAS Coordinator.

They think the ant eater was hit by a car on a road near the municipality of Vianí, Cundinamarca.

The X-ray showed that the ant eater suffered a broken left femur.

Iguanas, deer, armadillos, parrots, and turtles are among the most kinds of animals cared for at the UNal Laboratories.

This Northern tamandua or female ant eater was healed after suffering a broken left femur by Veterinarian Dr. Vladimir Galindo, Director of the UNal Small Animal Clinic. 

The surgery was performed as soon as the animal crossed the doors of the UNal Wild Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Unit (URRAS, for its Spanish acronym). 

The ant eater had been found while moving with difficulty on the side of a road near the municipality of Vianí (Province of Cundinamarca). Depression and hopelessness of dragging one of its legs were some of the details described on the clinical report. 

The X-rays showed the bad state of affairs for the animal. Although at first they thought a pack of dogs had been responsible for the situation, this theory was discarded when did not find any bite signals on the body of the animal or near the area of the fracture. It seems the ant eater was hit by a car. 

The surgery consisted of realigning the fracture of the femur using a plate and screws. The operation was similar to any normal cat or dog surgical procedure but the plate was placed on the front of the bone instead of the usual lateral placing. The procedure was successful as despite the slow metabolism of these animals, X-rays showed evidence of new tissue only 12 days after the surgery. 

The release protocol will be put into action soon and includes delivering the animal to members of the AIUNAU Foundation, a group devoted to rehabilitation and care of several species, especially Xenarthrans. Members of this family include ant eaters, armadillos and sloths. After a while the specimen will be released in a natural environment for the species near the municipality of Caldas (Province of Antioquia). 

Despite the excellent work of this foundation, as many other institutions of its kind, it lacks the infrastructure to carry out these types of efforts. 

In effect, the fate of the tamandua was seemingly the same of an iguana which suffered from a broken jaw. The animal was also taken to the UNal Animal Clinic where the jaw bone was reconstructed. 

Like these two cases, 350 more animals have been checked in this year for some type of care or rehab to the labs or surgery rooms of the UNal Animal Clinic. At least 20 have had surgery due to serious injuries, such as that of the ant eater. In fact, at the beginning of the year an armadillo was cured due to a dog attack as well as a deer which had been hit by a car. 

According to Veterinarian and URRAS Coordinator Lina Puentes most of the cases that arrive at the unit are related to neglect of home cared animals. 

Some of the most common issues are metabolic diseases in turtles due to lack of calcium; inadequate diet such as feeding bread and chocolate to parrots which produces serious skin conditions; birds with respiratory issues or dehydrated because they are kept in places with too much dust or in direct sunlight.

(Por: Fin/HEVC/DMH/APBL
)
N.° 264

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