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First wild jaguar born in Argentina’s national park in 70 years – Offbeat News – Report by AFR

A captive-born jaguar released in Argentina’s Ibera National Park last year has given birth to two cubs – the first born wild in the protected wetland in 70 years, conservation organization Rewilding Argentina said on Thursday.

A hidden camera confirmed the keepers’ suspicions about the happy event and showed the jaguar’s mother caring for her offspring, said Magali Longo, coordinator of the foundation’s Jaguar Reintroduction Center (CRY).

“The mating of free jaguars and the birth of a new generation in the wild is excellent news for the project aimed at halting the extinction of this species,” Rewilding Argentina said in a statement.

It also raised hopes of “regenerating a healthy population of jaguars” in the region that was once their natural home.

The cubs are the offspring of Arami, who was born in CRY in 2018 and released to the protected park last September, and Jatobazinho, a male rescued in Brazil who was donated to the Argentine project in 2019 and released to the park in December.

They were among eight jaguars released last year to Ibera Park, where they live like their wild ancestors: hunting capybaras, wild boar and deer.

“If both cubs survive – something we should know in the coming weeks – Ibera’s jaguar population will increase to 10,” said Sebastian Di Martino, the foundation’s conservation director.

This is significant, he added, considering only about 15 jaguars are known to exist in the Chaco ecoregion to which the park belongs.

The breeding and rehabilitation center CRY has been operating for ten years in Argentina’s Corrientes province, where the jaguar went locally extinct 70 years ago.

It is estimated that there are between 200 and 300 jaguars left in Argentina.

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