The Mazunte Project – Saving an Endangered SpeciesJanuary 14, 2019
Oaxaca, Mexico – The Mazunte Project is run by the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue. It involves a group of volunteer veterinarians and technicians from the US and Mexico that travel to Oaxaca to spay/neuter dogs that live along two of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the world. The work of the volunteers simultaneously impacts the lives and habitats of the humans, the sea turtles, and maintains balance and overall wellness in the native dog population. Together, all three aspects of the work of the volunteers and this important program impact the overall health and wellness of three species, allowing them to co-exist safely in their shared environment.
There are no animal shelters in the area, so volunteers bring all their supplies and set up mobile veterinary clinics in the various towns in the region. They aim to treat 500-700 dogs during each trip, which results in approximately 40,000-60,000 additional sea turtle hatchlings making it back into the ocean each season. Besides providing spay/neuter work, they also deworm any animals that are brought to the mobile clinics, which has greatly reduced the parasite burden on the local human population as well.
In 2018, Ethos Veterinary Health was honored to be asked for a donation to help facilitate the work of this important organization. With some additional assistance, the Palmarito Sea Turtle rescue was able to purchase 440 packs of suture, 8 bottles of epinephrine and 2 bottles of Rimadyl (an anti-inflammatory medication). These donations, and the generosity of the volunteers, allow the non-profit to continue their spay/neuter work in order to protect endangered sea turtle hatchlings.