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Inti Wara Yassi – Where The Forgotten Animals Of Bolivia Are Loved


by Sheela Warrick



Bolivia, a country known for its vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes, is also home to a diverse range of wildlife. However, many of these animals face numerous challenges, including habitat loss, illegal hunting, and mistreatment. Fortunately, there is an organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating these forgotten animals – Inti Wara Yassi.


Inti Wara Yassi, which translates to “Sun and Moon” in Quechua, is a non-profit organization based in Bolivia. Its primary mission is to provide a safe haven for animals that have been mistreated, abandoned, or confiscated from illegal trafficking activities. Established in 1992, the organization has been working tirelessly to protect these vulnerable creatures and promote a culture of conservation.


The work of Inti Wara Yassi goes beyond simply providing shelter for these animals. The organization believes in the importance of rehabilitation and education to ensure the long-term well-being of the rescued animals and to raise awareness among the public about the importance of wildlife conservation.


Throughout this article, we will delve into the background of Inti Wara Yassi, explore their initiatives to rescue forgotten animals, learn about their rehabilitation and care programs, and discover the community engagement and education programs they offer. We will also discuss the challenges they face and their future plans.


Join us as we delve into the amazing work of Inti Wara Yassi and the incredible impact they are making to protect Bolivia’s beloved and often forgotten animal residents.


Background of Inti Wara Yassi

Inti Wara Yassi was founded in 1992 by businessman Juan Carlos Antezana, who was deeply concerned about the mistreatment of animals in Bolivia. Inspired by his love for animals and his desire to make a difference, Antezana established the organization with the aim of rescuing and rehabilitating abused and abandoned wildlife.


Initially, Inti Wara Yassi focused on rescuing and rehabilitating exotic animals that had been kept illegally as pets or used in circuses. These animals often experienced neglect, trauma, and malnutrition during their time under human care. By providing a safe and nurturing environment, Inti Wara Yassi aimed to give these animals a second chance at life.


Over time, the organization expanded its scope to include the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals that had been orphaned, injured, or confiscated from illegal trafficking activities. This included endangered species such as jaguars, pumas, and peccaries, as well as smaller mammals and birds.


Inti Wara Yassi also recognized the importance of community involvement and collaboration. They partnered with local communities, government agencies, and international organizations to tackle the challenges facing Bolivia’s wildlife. By working together, they aimed to create a sustainable model for animal rescue and conservation.


Today, Inti Wara Yassi operates three wildlife sanctuaries in different regions of Bolivia: Parque Machía, located near the city of Cochabamba; Parque Ambue Ari, situated in the heart of the Amazon rainforest; and Parque Jacj Cuisi, nestled in the remote region near the city of Trinidad. Each sanctuary is home to a variety of rescued animals and plays a crucial role in their rehabilitation and eventual release, whenever possible.


Through their dedication and hard work, Inti Wara Yassi has become one of the leading wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organizations in Bolivia. Their compassionate approach, combined with their commitment to education and community engagement, has garnered widespread recognition and support both locally and internationally.


Next, we will explore the amazing initiatives Inti Wara Yassi has undertaken to rescue forgotten animals and provide a second chance at life for these incredible creatures.


Initiative to Rescue Forgotten Animals

Inti Wara Yassi is driven by a strong commitment to rescuing animals in Bolivia that have been forgotten or mistreated. Their initiative to rescue these animals begins with a dedicated team of experts who work tirelessly to respond to reports of animals in need.


One of the main sources of rescued animals for Inti Wara Yassi is the illegal wildlife trade. Bolivia, unfortunately, is a hotspot for this illegal activity, with many rare and endangered species falling victim to the hands of traffickers. The organization works closely with government authorities to confiscate animals from illegal traders and provide them with a safe refuge at their sanctuaries.


In addition to rescuing animals from illegal traders, Inti Wara Yassi also takes in animals that have been abandoned or mistreated. This includes animals that were once kept as pets but were no longer wanted or cared for by their owners. Whether it’s a monkey, a jaguar, or a bird, the organization is dedicated to giving each animal a second chance at a life free from abuse and neglect.


The process of rescuing these forgotten animals begins with careful planning and coordination. Trained professionals assess the situation and devise strategies to ensure the safety of both the animals and the rescue team. From there, a rescue operation is launched, which may involve capturing the animals, providing medical attention, and safely transporting them to one of Inti Wara Yassi’s sanctuaries.


Upon arrival at the sanctuary, the rescued animals are placed in quarantine to undergo a thorough veterinary check-up. This ensures that any illnesses or injuries are promptly addressed and that the animals receive the necessary medical care to aid in their recovery. Once they are cleared for integration, they are gradually introduced to a suitable enclosure where they can begin the rehabilitation process.


Inti Wara Yassi adopts a holistic approach to rehabilitation, which takes into account the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of each animal. They create enriching environments that mimic the natural habitats of the animals. This includes providing ample space to roam, engaging with other members of their species, and offering a varied diet that meets their specific nutritional needs.


Through their initiative to rescue forgotten animals, Inti Wara Yassi has transformed the lives of countless creatures, giving them a chance to heal, recover, and ultimately thrive in environments that prioritize their welfare. In the following section, we will explore the rehabilitation and care programs that help ensure the well-being of these rescued animals.


Rehabilitation and Care Program

Inti Wara Yassi’s rehabilitation and care program is at the heart of their mission to provide a better life for rescued animals in Bolivia. The organization recognizes that the journey to recovery for these animals involves more than just physical healing; it requires a comprehensive approach that addresses their psychological and emotional well-being as well.


Upon arrival at one of Inti Wara Yassi’s sanctuaries, each animal undergoes a thorough assessment to determine their specific needs. This assessment takes into account their physical condition, behavioral patterns, and any trauma they may have experienced. Based on this evaluation, a personalized rehabilitation plan is created for each individual animal.


Physical rehabilitation includes providing proper nutrition, medical treatments, and exercise. Through a carefully planned diet, tailored to the specific dietary requirements of each species, the animals regain their strength and vitality. Veterinary professionals monitor their health closely, providing necessary medical interventions to address any lingering health issues or injuries.


In addition to physical rehabilitation, Inti Wara Yassi places great emphasis on the behavioral and emotional well-being of the animals. Many of them have experienced trauma, abuse, or isolation, and may exhibit abnormal behaviors as a result. The organization employs animal behavior specialists who work closely with the animals, using positive reinforcement and enrichment techniques to help them overcome their past experiences.


Enrichment activities play a crucial role in the rehabilitation process. The animals are provided with a stimulating environment that includes natural elements, toys, and opportunities for social interaction. This helps them regain their natural instincts, build trust, and learn vital skills necessary for their eventual return to the wild whenever possible.


In some cases, due to injuries or other factors, certain animals may not be suitable candidates for release back into the wild. For these animals, Inti Wara Yassi provides lifelong care and sanctuary. Every effort is made to ensure their physical and mental well-being, creating an environment that allows them to lead fulfilling lives, free from the hardships they endured before being rescued.


Through their comprehensive rehabilitation and care program, Inti Wara Yassi gives these forgotten animals a chance to heal, recover, and regain their independence whenever possible. However, it’s not only about caring for individual animals; the organization is deeply committed to education and community engagement to promote wildlife conservation and create a lasting impact.


In the following section, we will explore the community engagement and education programs offered by Inti Wara Yassi to raise awareness about the importance of protecting Bolivia’s wildlife.


Success Stories of Animal Rescue and Rehabilitations

Inti Wara Yassi has achieved numerous success stories in their mission to rescue and rehabilitate forgotten animals in Bolivia. Through their dedicated efforts and comprehensive care programs, many animals have been given a second chance at life and have gone on to thrive in their natural habitats.


One remarkable success story is that of Cholita, a spectacled bear. Cholita’s journey began when she was rescued from a small cage where she had been kept as an illegal pet. Upon arrival at Inti Wara Yassi’s sanctuary, she was malnourished and traumatized. Through a carefully crafted rehabilitation plan, Cholita regained her health and her confidence. Today, she roams freely in a large enclosure, displaying her natural behaviors and playing a vital role in raising awareness about the conservation of spectacled bears in Bolivia.


Another inspiring success story is that of Anaconda, a jaguar who was found injured and near death due to human wildlife conflict. With intensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, Anaconda made a remarkable recovery. She was eventually released back into a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, where she now roams as a symbol of hope for her species.


Inti Wara Yassi has also played a significant role in the conservation of endangered primates, such as spider monkeys and capuchins. These intelligent and social animals often suffer from the loss of their natural habitats and are prime targets for the illegal pet trade. Through their rescue and rehabilitation programs, Inti Wara Yassi has successfully reintegrated several primates back into the wild, allowing them to live freely in their natural habitats once again.


The success stories of animal rescue and rehabilitation are not limited to large or charismatic species. Inti Wara Yassi has also made a difference in the lives of smaller mammals, birds, and reptiles. From rescuing orphaned sloths to rehabilitating parrots that were victims of the illegal pet trade, the organization has provided these forgotten animals with the care and attention they need to recover and thrive.


These success stories highlight the profound impact that Inti Wara Yassi has had in transforming the lives of forgotten animals in Bolivia. Through their dedication, expertise, and holistic care programs, they have given these animals a second chance to live fulfilling lives and contribute to the biodiversity of the country.


Next, we will explore the community engagement and education programs offered by Inti Wara Yassi to raise awareness and support for wildlife conservation in Bolivia.


Community Engagement and Education Programs

Inti Wara Yassi recognizes that community engagement and education are vital components of their mission to protect Bolivia’s wildlife. They believe that conservation efforts are most effective when local communities are actively involved and educated about the importance of wildlife preservation.


One of the key community engagement programs implemented by Inti Wara Yassi is the formation of partnerships with local communities surrounding their wildlife sanctuaries. These partnerships aim to foster collaboration and mutual support in addressing the challenges faced by both the animals and the communities. By working together, they can find sustainable solutions that benefit both the wildlife and the livelihoods of the local residents.


The organization also operates outreach programs that provide educational opportunities for people of all ages. Through workshops, seminars, and presentations, Inti Wara Yassi shares valuable information about wildlife conservation, animal welfare, and the impact of illegal wildlife trade. These educational programs aim to raise awareness, inspire empathy, and empower individuals to become advocates for the protection of Bolivia’s wildlife.


Inti Wara Yassi’s education programs are tailored to various audiences, including schools, universities, and local communities. They strive to instill a sense of awe and respect for Bolivia’s rich biodiversity, highlighting the interconnectedness between humans and wildlife. By fostering a deeper understanding of ecosystems and the importance of conservation, they hope to inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.


Furthermore, Inti Wara Yassi places a strong emphasis on fostering a sense of empathy and respect for animals. They run programs that raise awareness about responsible pet ownership, encouraging people to consider the long-term needs and well-being of animals before bringing them into their homes. These initiatives aim to reduce the demand for exotic pets and promote the concept of wild animals belonging in their natural habitats.


In addition to community engagement and education programs, Inti Wara Yassi actively collaborates with international research institutions, conservation organizations, and government agencies. These partnerships enable knowledge sharing, innovative research, and conservation strategies that can have a broader impact on wildlife preservation beyond the sanctuaries.


Through their community engagement and education programs, Inti Wara Yassi strives to create a cultural shift in Bolivia, where wildlife conservation is valued and prioritized by both individuals and communities. By educating and empowering people, they aim to build a collective consciousness around the importance of protecting Bolivia’s unique and diverse ecosystem.


In the final section, we will discuss the challenges that Inti Wara Yassi faces and their future plans in continuing their impactful work.


Challenges and Future Plans

While Inti Wara Yassi has achieved remarkable success in their mission to rescue and rehabilitate forgotten animals in Bolivia, they continue to face numerous challenges in their efforts to protect wildlife and promote conservation.


One key challenge is the ongoing issue of habitat loss and fragmentation. Deforestation, land conversion, and infrastructure development pose serious threats to the natural habitats of Bolivia’s wildlife. These activities not only displace animals but also disrupt their ecological balance. Inti Wara Yassi recognizes the importance of addressing this challenge and continues to advocate for sustainable land-use practices and protected areas to safeguard the long-term survival of wildlife.


Another challenge is the illegal wildlife trade, which remains a persistent problem in Bolivia. Despite efforts to crack down on trafficking, many rare and endangered species are still targeted for their valuable parts or as exotic pets. Inti Wara Yassi actively collaborates with law enforcement agencies to combat this illegal trade and works towards stricter legislation and enforcement measures to curb wildlife trafficking.


Funding is also a continuous challenge for Inti Wara Yassi. As a non-profit organization, they rely on donations, grants, and sponsorships to support their operations and care for the rescued animals. Securing sustainable funding sources is crucial for the long-term success and expansion of their programs.


Looking into the future, Inti Wara Yassi has ambitious plans to further strengthen their impact on wildlife conservation. They aim to continue expanding their sanctuaries and improving the facilities to provide the best possible care for the rescued animals. This includes creating larger and more naturalistic enclosures and investing in state-of-the-art veterinary equipment.


Furthermore, Inti Wara Yassi plans to enhance their community engagement and education programs by reaching more schools, universities, and communities across Bolivia. They aim to cultivate a deeper sense of environmental responsibility and inspire widespread action for the protection of wildlife and their habitats.


Additionally, the organization seeks to foster greater collaboration with government agencies, conservation organizations, and international institutions. By working together, they can develop more effective conservation strategies, share resources and knowledge, and advocate for stronger policies and legislation to protect Bolivia’s wildlife.


Inti Wara Yassi also recognizes the importance of research in their conservation efforts. The organization aims to expand their research initiatives to better understand the needs and behaviors of the rescued animals, as well as the broader ecological dynamics of Bolivia’s ecosystems.


Despite the challenges they face, Inti Wara Yassi remains resilient and determined to continue their impactful work in rescuing and rehabilitating forgotten animals. With their passion, expertise, and strategic plans for the future, they strive to make a lasting difference in the lives of Bolivia’s wildlife and inspire a profound shift towards a more sustainable and compassionate coexistence with nature.



Inti Wara Yassi is a beacon of hope for the forgotten animals of Bolivia. Through their unwavering dedication, they have rescued and rehabilitated countless animals, providing them with a second chance at life. Their holistic approach to care, which includes physical rehabilitation, behavioral support, and community engagement, is making a significant impact on wildlife conservation in Bolivia.


From the rescue of animals caught in the illegal wildlife trade to the rehabilitation of injured or abandoned creatures, Inti Wara Yassi has demonstrated the power of compassion and perseverance. Success stories such as Cholita the spectacled bear and Anaconda the jaguar are a testament to the organization’s commitment to protecting and preserving Bolivia’s precious wildlife.


Inti Wara Yassi’s community engagement and education programs play a vital role in raising awareness and fostering a culture of conservation. By involving local communities in their efforts and empowering individuals through education, they are building a foundation for sustainable change and a future where humans and wildlife can coexist harmoniously.


Yet, challenges persist. Habitat loss, the illegal wildlife trade, and funding shortages pose ongoing threats to Bolivia’s wildlife. However, Inti Wara Yassi remains determined and has ambitious plans for the future. Their focus on expanding their sanctuaries, improving facilities, and strengthening collaborations aims to ensure a brighter future for the animals under their care.


In conclusion, Inti Wara Yassi’s incredible work in rescuing and rehabilitating forgotten animals in Bolivia is deserving of admiration and support. Their mission to protect wildlife, educate communities, and advocate for conservation initiatives is making a profound difference. As we become more aware of the importance of preserving our natural world, organizations like Inti Wara Yassi serve as a reminder of the power of compassion and the transformative impact it can have on the lives of animals, ecosystems, and the future of our planet.