A jaguar in Argentina has returned to the wild after the protection of a conservation program in the province of Corrientes.
The female was released into the wild in a region where the species was considered extinct for more than 70 years as a result of deforestation and poaching.
The Argentina Rewilding Foundation announced that on Oct. 1, “together with authorities from National Parks and the province of Corrientes, we proceeded to open one of the sides of the large 30-hectare corral of the Yaguareté Reintroduction Center in the Iberá Park. Almost three days later, Arami, who was in that corral, decided to make her way to freedom.
“Arami, along with her sister Mbarete, was born in June 2018 in the reintroduction center, and during these three years she was raised in special conditions, without human contact and fed with live prey to arrive well-prepared at this moment.”
Conservation officials, who are tracking Armani’s movements, said she appears to be following estuaries that meander throughout the area, where seven other freed jaguars are living.
“Arami’s mother Tania is currently raising two cubs in El Impenetrable National Park, and her father Chiqui was returned to a wildlife rescue center in Paraguay, managed by the Yacyreta Binational Entity,” the foundation said, citing jaguar reintroduction project’s efforts across “diverse institutions and countries.”
Arami will explore little by little the environment of the estuaries where she will spend the rest of her life. With her there are already seven jaguars living free in Iberá.
“The year 2021 has marked a milestone in this great dream of reintroducing the jaguar, extinct in the province for more than 70 years, with the first releases of individuals,” the foundation said.
Jaguars are listed as “near threatened” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
“Today, the release of Arami deserves a special distinction as, together with her sister Mbarete, they represent the first two jaguars born this century in Corrientes, and their birth in 2018 brought hope about the possible return of the jaguar to Iberá. Today that hope transforms into reality,” the foundation said on Oct. 1.
The governor of Corrientes, Gustavo Valdes, praised the conservationists for their efforts.
“This is an achievement for all Corrientes,” the governor said. “Through nature tourism, the Iberá National Park is presented as a great opportunity for the social and economic development of our province, as well as being a source of pride for Corrientes. Together we continue working for nature and this is what makes us unique in the world.”
Edited by Judith Isacoff and Kristen Butler
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