A jaguar named Jatobazinho was released on Friday in an Argentinian national park as part of a program to increase the numbers of this endangered species.
It was the eighth jaguar released this year in Ibera National Park but the first adult male, said environmental group Rewilding Argentina, which is behind the project.
Jatobazinho weighs around 90 kilograms (200 pounds) and has brown fur dotted with black spots.
He first appeared in a rural school in 2018 in Brazil, looking skinny and weak after crossing a river from Paraguay.
The big cat spent a year in an animal shelter in Brazil until he was sent to a jaguar reintroduction center operating since 2012 in the province of Corrientes, northeast Argentina, where the he species had been extinct for 70 years.
Sebastian Di Martino, a biologist from Rewilding Argentina, said the jaguar needed to be kind and relaxed when he left his enclosure and entered the wild.
âIf the animal is stressed it can get disoriented and end up anywhere,â he said.
He said that these jaguars were fed live prey in captivity because they must know how to hunt.
In Ibera Park there are a lot of wild animals that they can feed on, such as deer.
Jaguars are tracked with a GPS device they carry.
It is now planned to release a female born at the reintroduction center.
The park is also awaiting the arrival of three wild jaguars from Paraguay and two others bred in captivity in Uruguay and Brazil.
Jaguars are originally from the Americas.
It is estimated that there were over 100,000 jaguars when Europeans arrived in the 15th century, their habitat ranging from the semi-desert areas of North America to the tropical forests of South America.
Conservation groups say the South American jaguar population has declined by 25% over the past 20 years as deforestation devours their habitat.
The destructive impact of hydropower plants on the habitats of jaguars and tigers
Â© 2022 AFP
Quote: Jaguar released in Argentina to help endangered species (2022, January 1) retrieved January 1, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-jaguar-argentina-endangered-species.html
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