Throughout 2023, noteworthy rescues included two Nile crocodiles, a two-metre-long Burmese python, and a hefty African spur tortoise tipping the scales at 25 kg, according to a report from the Guardia Civil on Sunday, March 31

These operations spotlighted the tireless work of the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA), illustrating their commitment to safeguarding endangered species under the CITES Convention.

In a detailed operation last August, SEPRONA officials recovered two Nile crocodiles, each around two metres long, from a private estate in Partida El Moralet, Alicante.

The absence of necessary documentation for these creatures underscores the secretive nature of wildlife trafficking.

Similarly, other interventions in October led to the rescue of a burrowing parrot and a Venezuelan red-tailed parrot, which was found wandering public streets thanks to alerts from concerned citizens.

In addition, in late 2023, a two-meter-long Burmese python was found in the centre of Alicante. Other finds included an African spur tortoise abandoned in the Sierra de Olta in Calpe.

Once rescued, these animals were relocated to various sanctuaries equipped to cater to their specific needs. Here, experts assessed their health and provided everything they could to improve the lives of these animals.

These centres are pivotal, providing medical care and the correct environmental conditions and food for them to thrive.

Those found responsible for these animals’ illegal importation or abandonment could face hefty fines of up to €6,000 or even criminal charges. This approach penalises the culprits and serves as a deterrent to potential wildlife traffickers.

SEPRONA’s efforts are significantly bolstered by vigilant citizens who report suspicious activities. This communal vigilance is crucial for the early detection and intervention of potential wildlife crimes.

While the challenge of wildlife trafficking persists, the Guardia Civil, with the help of the community and specialised recovery centres, is making vital strides towards conserving endangered species.

Their actions rescue these animals from harmful situations and contribute to the global fight against illegal wildlife trade.