Managua, Jan 27 (efe-epa).- Two jaguar cubs were rescued from a house in the North Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua after being offered for illegal sale on social media when their mother was killed by residents, the Nicaragua Zoo reported on Wednesday.
The male and female jaguars, just three-and-a-half months old, were underweight when they were rescued from a home in the Miskito community of Sandy Bay, about 700 kilometers from Managua, according to the authorities of the National Zoo, which helped the felines along with government officials.
“It was very expensive to feed them. They had to kill a deer and the family preferred to eat it and gave only the hide and leather to the jaguars,” the zoo’s director Eduardo Sacasa told EFE.
Sacasa became aware of the case after he saw a post on social media saying that the jaguar pair was up for sale for $400. After contacting several people he found out the cubs’ whereabouts.
Those holding them “kept the cubs there, waiting for them to grow up and to sell them for a high price,” otherwise they would euthanize them, he said.
The mother of the cubs was not so lucky. She was shot dead when the pair was about six weeks old after killing a horse that was used for work by the locals.
The two shy jaguars, still without names, were transferred to the facilities of the National Zoo on the outskirts of Managua, where they were de-wormed and will be cared for and fed.
To obtain the jaguars, several negotiations were held in which those selling the cubs asked for the non-intervention of the police or state-run environmental protection agencies, and no recording of videos or taking of photographs.
Only Sacasa attended, however he had the necessary support and permits from the government.
Sacasa hopes that one day he can return all the cats they have at the zoo to their natural habitat, provided there are protections in place.
The jaguar, which can reach up to 25 years in captivity and weigh 100 kilograms, is the third largest feline in the world, behind the tiger and the lion, and can be found from the southern United States down to Argentina.
Considered in danger of extinction, it is estimated that in Nicaragua there are now only about 400 in the wild.
The Nicaragua Zoo is home to about 25 cats, including jaguars, tigers and lions. EFE-EPA