Amid light rain, thousands of river turtles released into Peru’s MasaRiver, leaving an impressive trail of tracks behind.
Officials sent out more than 4,000 river turtles, primarily northern owls which like to nest in the river and along its banks, the BBC reported.
More than 2,000 of the reptiles landed on MasaRiver, leaving a stream of crayfish tracks, indicating it was a successful release, according to the BBC.
“As you can see, and we’re very happy about it, we released more than 1,000 animals,” Juan Anel Salinas, deputy minister of environmental protection in Peruvian environment ministry, told the BBC. “When they’re released into their homes, within days, there are already tracks.”
The northwest owls, which are found in the U.S. and Europe, breed on the Amazon. Scientists say the frog – a veritable baby monster – will be back to breed again this year.
A few years ago, in 2015, 15,000 northern owls returned to the MasaRiver. Scientists say the estimated 5,000 return this year makes it one of the largest populations of southern woodland owls in the region.
Along with the river turtles, locals taught fishermen to remove fishing nets out of the river, reducing pollution, according to Salinas.