This ocelot badly burned on all four of its feet during a forest fire reportedly started by Brazilian farmers to gain more pasture land has had to be put to sleep.
The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) was rescued from the banks of Pixaim River in the municipality of Pocone in the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso on 4th September.
According to the State Secretariat of Environment (Sema), vets decided to euthanise the male adult due to the severity of its injuries.
It was found on a riverbank in the Pantanal, a natural region encompassing the world’s largest tropical wetland area, by workers of a nearby hotel.
The rescue team had to reach the burned ocelot by boat as access to the spot was surrounded by alligators.
They sedated the injured animal and brought it to a veterinary clinic for urgent treatment.
Vets cared for the feline for two days, however, a specialist from Sao Paulo who was visiting the area suggested putting the animal down as the injuries were regarded as too severe.
The ocelot’s body was then transferred to the Veterinary Hospital of the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT).
The fires that hit the Pantanal region for about two months were caused by agricultural workers, according to expert reports from the Integrated Multi-Agency Center for Operational Coordination (Ciman-MT).
They said the workers intentionally set the fires to clear pasture area for cattle and to extract honeycombs from tree roots, even though it is illegal and can result in fines or prison.
The reports on the blazes have been sent to the Environment Police (Dema) for further investigation.
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