This male jaguar has been released in an Argentine province where it has been extinct for 70 years as part of a programme to reintroduce the species into the wild.
The male jaguar, named Jatobazinho and aged four years, was found near a rural school in a weak state after crossing a river into Brazil from Paraguay in 2018.
Jatobazinho now roams freely in the same territory as females Arami, Mariua, Juruna, and their cubs. During 2022, new specimens will be released in the Ibera National Park in the Argentine province of Corrientes to increase the jaguar population. The species has been extinct in the province for some 70 years.
The environmental group Rewilding Argentina said he is the first adult male to be released in the area as part of the project.
Today, Jatobazinho weighs around 90 kilogrammes (198 lbs) after spending a year at an animal shelter in Brazil before being transferred to a jaguar reintroduction centre in Corrientes.
Rewilding Argentina biologist Sebastian Di Martino said it was important Jatobazinho was relaxed before returning to the wild, adding: “If the animal is stressed it can become disoriented and end up anywhere.”
Fitted with a GPS device, the male jaguar has plenty of feed to prey on in the National Park.
As part of the plan to reintroduce more jaguars throughout the year, Rewilding Argentina said it will release a female in the park soon, after she was born and raised at the jaguar centre.
The National Park is also expecting the arrival of two jaguars raised in captivity in Brazil and Uruguay as well as three wild jaguars from Paraguay.
Conservationists have blamed deforestation and poaching for the collapse in jaguar numbers in South America, adding that the population has fallen by around 25 percent in the last 20 years.
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