These images show a jaguar which has been rescued with severe burns in Brazil after the stricken animal began to enter people’s houses seeking shelter when fires ravaged its natural habitat.
The incident occurred in the Pantanal rainforest zone in Mato Grosso state in western Brazil following extensive fires in the region.
According to the firefighters who took charge of the rescue effort, the jaguar (Panthera onca) had severe dehydration and possible kidney damage when it was rescued on 17th August.
The animal had third-degree burns on all of its legs and is believed to be suffering from smoke inhalation from the fire. It was admitted to the veterinary hospital of the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT) in the state capital Cuiaba.
Andre Faust, the communications director of the university told Real Press: “The animal’s life is still in danger, but our team is doing everything possible to help it.
He added to Real Press on Saturday (22nd August): “I know it was looking for shelter from the fire and tried to hide inside a shed that belonged to a family that lives near Transpantaneira, in the city of Pocone, but that is all.”
The jaguar reportedly invaded several homes of Pantanal residents after having its natural habitat destroyed by blazes in the region over the weekend in Pocone, 65 miles from Cuiaba.
The animal was rescued by helicopter in a joint operation involving the fire department, the State Secretariat for the Environment, the Federal University of Mato Grosso, the Brazilian Air Force, the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, and Pantanal residents.
The jaguar in the cage The rescue helicopter
A sorting centre for injured animals had been set up in the area but given the severity of the jaguar’s situation, it was sedated and taken in an air force plane to the veterinary hospital in Cuiaba.
Wetlands residents told firefighters that the animal was entering homes and gardens in an area affected by the fire.
Every night it would enter someone’s home and, for the safety of the residents, the rescue teams decided to remove it from the region.
Local media outlet Globo report that 820,000 hectares of the Pantanal wetlands in Mato Grosso were destroyed by fires between January and 17th August.
The jaguar laying in the cage Jaguar rescued in Pantanal
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Story By: Joseph Sexton, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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