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Vet saves animals, sounds alarm over Bolivian wildfires

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:20s - Published
Vet saves animals, sounds alarm over Bolivian wildfires

Vet saves animals, sounds alarm over Bolivian wildfires

What was until recently a verdant area of trees and wildlife in Southern Bolivia has now become a charred landscape where life teeters on the brink after wildfires ravaged the region -- but one veterinarian is lending a helping hand.

Gavino Garay reports.

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Bolivian veterinarian Jerjes Suarez is sounding the alarm about threatened wildlife from the wrath of wildfires in the region.

This small armadillo he's rescued was nearly blinded.

It tried to scurry and roll away, before Suarez scooped up the little animal for treatment.

Others were not so lucky.

Here in the small town of Charagua in southern Bolivia, he says the infernos have killed a number of species, including the armadillos and jaguars.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BOLIVIAN VETERINARIAN, JERJES SUAREZ, SAYING: "We are rescuing animals every day from this disaster... We've seen that many animals are dying close to the road looking for a space where the fire won't get them, but in general, the smoke and the heat are killing them." Suarez says stranded cattle from the blaze are hungry because the hay they feed on is all burned up and they need vaccines for treatment.

He adds they're at risk of pulmonary disease from the smoke as well.

Locals blame the government for not responding to the crisis in their small community, after Bolivian President Evo Morales was slow to accept foreign aid.

Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Chile and Spain have all offered support.

In neighboring Brazil, thousands of wildfires are still decimating the Amazon, where there too wildlife has fallen victim to scorched earth.




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