Authorities in Mexico have rescued nearly 29,000 animals since 2000, many during operations against organized criminal groups.
Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) was ordered to release data on animals it has seized after a request by a member of the public. It was forced to hand over information on the 28,767 animals confiscated over the last 11 years, including their current location and legal status.
The release of this information, enforced by Federal Institute for Access to Public Information (IFAI), will help ensure that these animals are not being trafficked. The black market for wildlife and plants, known as "eco-trafficking," generates an estimated $20 billion in profits each year.
Among the animals confiscated in Mexico since 2000 are endangered species like Asian elephants and Bengal tigers, as well as falcons, wild boars and white-tailed bucks.
Zoos throughout Mexico have provided shelter for hundreds of exotic animals, including the personal wildlife collections of criminals like Jesus Zambada, brother of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Ismael Zamada.
With space and resource limitations, however, Mexico’s zoos are unequipped to handle the nearly 29,000 animals confiscated over the past decade.