Liliana Samuel (AFP)
Buenos Aires, Argentina ●
Sat, January 1, 20,22
As part of a program that aims to increase the population of this endangered species, Friday saw Jatobazinho, a jaguar released into a national park of Argentina.
According to Rewilding Argentina, this was the eighth jaguar that was released into Ibera National Park, but it was also the first adult male.
Jatobazinho weighed in at around 90 kilos (200lbs) and has brown fur, with black spots.
He appeared for the first time at a rural school, in Brazil, in 2018. He was skinny and weak from having crossed a river from Paraguay.
The big cat spent one year in a Brazilian animal refuge before he was transferred to an Argentine jaguar reintroduction centre, which has been operating since 2012 in Argentina’s northeast Corrientes region. This center is where the species had been extinct since 70 years ago.
Sebastian Di Martino, a Rewilding Argentina biologist, stated that the jaguar should be relaxed and friendly as it leaves its enclosure and enters the wild.
“If the animal becomes stressed, it can become disoriented. And end up anywhere,” he stated.
He stated that these jaguars were given live prey while they were held captive because they need to learn how to hunt.
There is plenty of wildlife in the Ibera Park for them to feed on, such as deer.
The jaguars are monitored by a GPS device they wear.
Plans are underway to release a female born at the reintroduction centre.
The park is also waiting for three wild jaguars from Paraguay and two others that were raised in captivity in Uruguay or Brazil.
Jaguars are native Americans.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 jaguars existed when Europeans arrived in North America in the 15th Century. Their habitat ranged between semi-desert areas in North America and tropical forests in South America.
According to conservation groups, the South American jaguar population has declined by as much as 25% over the past 20 year due to deforestation.