Wildlife Rescue & Care

CIWY’s main concern is animal trafficking. We’re working to end it and in the meantime offering refuge to those animals who are victims of it.

Animal rescue

CIWY works with regional representatives and in coordination with the appropriate national and departmental authorities, with the police and in accordance with the law (Environmental Law 1333, Article 111) to rescue wild animals that have been:

  • Confiscated from markets (e.g. La Cancha in Cochabamba, Los Pozos in Santa Cruz), fairs (e.g. 16 de Julio in El Alto), celebrations (e.g. Urkupiña in Cochabamba), circuses, witch doctors, private homes and other such places.
  • Voluntarily handed over by people who were keeping them as pets, and who, thanks to CIWY’s and other organisation’s work, became aware of the illegal nature of keeping wild animals.
  • Some animals are handed over to us to be cared for in our Centres by authorities such as the Dirección General de Biodiversidad (Bolivia’s National Office of Biodiversity), the regional governments of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Beni, Pando and some municipalities. We act as custodians for these animals..


All rescued animals are housed in one of our three Centres,Machia, Ambue Ari and Jacj Cuisi, taking into consideration the habitat to which they belong. Each Centre has a team of professional staff (veterinarians, biologists and animal keepers) who are specialists in the management of wild animals. We have an organisational system based on a balance between experienced technical staff and volunteers.

Animal care

Today CIWY is a leader in the management of wild animals within the country. Since the rescue of a spider monkey (Ateles chamek) during the very beginnings of CIWY, we have come a long way in the care of wildlife. More than 20 years later, we now manage three Wildlife Sanctuaries with more than 500 animals of different species. Governmental bodies often consult us about the proper treatment of various species, as well as zoos and other organisations. We are especially experienced in the management of primates, species such as capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) and spider monkeys (Ateles chamek), and large felines. Furthermore, we also have many more different species housed in our Centres. Find out which ones here.

Many animals arrive at our Centres with various problems, such as poor nutrition, malnourishment, health problems, loss of identity, psychological traumas or physical ailments due to the conditions in which they were kept previously. The majority of these animals cannot be re-released due to the irreversible damage caused by humans since they were taken from their natural habitats. Therefore we work to offer each and every one of these animals the best possible quality of life, including a proper diet, as large an enclosure as we are able to build them, exercise and stimulation.


Thanks to years of hard and dedicated work, CIWY has managed to rehabilitate and reintroduce various species back into the wild, within Sanctuaries Machia and Ambue Ari. In the Wildlife Sanctuary Machia we have successfully worked in the formation of groups of capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis). In Wildlife Sanctuary Ambue Ari we have successfully formed groups of howler monkeys (Alouata seniculus), who were re-released within the park’s land. This work is carried out under the supervision and management of technical staff in both Centres.

Due to the increased trafficking of wild animals and the reduction of their habitat, the work of re-releasing them has been temporarily halted. This is mainly to ensure compliance with the new rules and regulations, improve our programmes of rehabilitation and re-release and find adequate areas of reintroduction. In order to do do this we are working on:

•  Raising funds to build adequate infrastructure and to carry out the necessary clinical analyses.
•  Recruiting specialised and experienced staff to work alongside our current employees.
•  Ensuring we fully comply with the national and international regulations and laws.



















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Our Partners

Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.

Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.

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