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Rehabilitated Ocelots Freed In Colombia

Rehabilitated Ocelots Freed In Colombia

BOGOTA — Colombian authorities released two ocelots back into the wild on March 25, after they were nurtured for six years in a rehab centerdesigned to resemble their natural habitat,El Espectador reported.

The 8-year old cats were set free in the Monquentiva reserve outside the town of Guatavita northeast of Bogota, as a delegation that included Environment Minister Gabriel Vallejo López looked on. One of the cats was handed over to authorities in 2009 by a family from Tenjo outside Bogota that had bought it as a baby and kept it as a pet. They decided to call environmental authorities when the kitten grew too large and began preying on their chickens.

The other ocelot was handed in by a family that had found it wondering alone after its mother was presumably killed by hunters. The district of Guatavita includes a reserve that's home to large animals, including at least 18 spectacled bears and two pumas. Authorities track their presence and numbers from secure rooms, one of which was shown to the minister. He stressed the role of local residents in protecting wildlife, and urged people to understand the consequences of removing animals from their habitats.

Photo: Colombia Ministry of Environment

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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