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The mission to save the Amazon’s animals

Xita, a tiny monkey with sad brown eyes, clutches her newborn tight. Both are fighting for their lives.

Vets working at the Clinidog clinic in the Amazon city of Porto Velho believe the mother and baby were run over by a car as they fled fires raging across the world’s largest rainforest.

Veterinarian Carlos Henrique cares for a Caracara hawk with symptoms of food infection at the Clinidog veterinary clinic(Reuters)

“She arrived stressed, screaming and smeared with blood,” says Carlos Henrique Tiburcio, the owner of the clinic, as he wraps the pair in a small, white cloth.

Creatures of the Amazon, one of the earth's most biodiverse habitats, face an ever-growing threat as loggers and farms advance further and further into the rainforest.

Marcelo Andreani, a vet, treats an Anteater at his house, that arrived with a broken left paw after a clash with a fierce porcupine. In five days, Linguaruda was strong enough to return to the wild(Reuters)

In the dry season ranchers and land speculators set fires to clear deforested woodland for pasture. Blazes can rage out of control, fueled by the swirling wind and dry foliage. Wildlife flee from the smoke and flames.

Weak and dying animals arrive at Tiburcio’s clinic where four volunteers work tirelessly to save them.

An anteater walks among shoes at veterinarian Marcelo Andreani’s house, where it’s receiving treatment. The anteater arrived with a broken left paw after a clash with a fierce porcupine(Reuters)

“This time of year, when fires are constant due to the absence of rain, the animals seek shelter in desperation to escape death and end up in the city, putting themselves at risk of being run over or captured,” says Marcelo Andreani, whose job is to rescue injured animals and bring them to the clinic.

“Human respect for nature is ending,” laments Andreani, who works for the state environmental police.

Xita’s baby sadly doesn’t make it(Reuters)

The team diagnoses Xita, a Rondon's marmoset, with a traumatic brain injury. She is wrapped and fed, and her condition slowly improves. Sadly, her baby doesn’t make it.

An anteater arrived with a broken left paw after a clash with a fierce porcupine. The patient had been found hiding in a garage and, again, the vets think it might have been fleeing fires as anteaters rarely turn up in the city.

Vet Carine Hanna takes care of Xita, the Rondon’s marmoset. Vets at the clinic believe the mother and baby were run over by a car as they fled the fires raging across the Amazon(Reuters)

The fracture required surgery. Under anaesthetic, a giant tongue rolled out of the anteater’s mouth, earning it the affectionate nickname Linguaruda, or Long-tongue.

After surgery, one of the vets took Linguaruda home to keep a closer eye on her recovery. At one point, she climbed into the bathroom sink to rest.

Cleio Junior, a fire brigade member of Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, holds a dead anteater while attempting to control hot points in a tract of the Amazon jungle(Reuters)

In five days, Linguaruda was strong enough to return to the wild - the best outcome her rescuers could wish for.

Linguaruda was freed near a forest trail, where it eagerly clambered among the trees once more.

A dead anteater lies on the road near the burning tract of the Amazon jungle, near Mirante do Norte, Rondonia(Reuters)
A tract of the Amazon jungle near Ouro Preto, Rondonia. In the dry season ranchers and land speculators set fires to clear deforested woodland for pasture. Blazes can rage out of control, and wildlife flee from the smoke and flames(Reuters)
A dead anteater lies on the road near the burning tract of the Amazon jungle, near Mirante do Norte, Rondonia(Reuters)

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