Campaigners want centres to offer to take in dozens of non-native species irresponsibly introduced into ponds at the Parque del Oeste, which are threatening indigenous breeds such as the galápago europeo and galápago leproso.
Legally, the city’s council has a right to kill the non-native reptiles, which began to be introduced by people who bought them as pets but could no longer cope with looking after them.
While no decision has yet been made on their fate, campaigners would like to see a more humane solution.
Patricia Lara Narváez, one of the campaigners said: “While the non-native species have to go, we have to do something with the best intentions.
“We need a zoo to help.”