When a villager stumbled upon a baby jaguar, he knew something must be very wrong if her mother wasn’t with her and she wasn’t making any attempt to run away.
The man called veterinarians from San Francisco de Quito University’s wildlife animal rescue organization, and the team quickly made their way to rescue the injured jaguar. Immediately, they could tell the jaguar was paralyzed since she couldn’t move her legs at all, but they had no idea how it possible happened.
When the team looked at her x-rays, they realized the poor baby had been shot 18 times and could see the bullets lodged in her body. “We don’t know exactly what happened because villagers don’t want to give information, but she was found next to a palm plantation without her mother,” said veterinary student Veronica Cabrera. “We suppose they were too close to the plantation and were shot.”
Two of the bullets had damaged the 11-month-old’s spinal chord, but the team refused to give up on the leopard, who they named D’yaira. They immediately got her into surgery to remove the bullets that weren’t too embedded in her bones, and while she still needs more surgery and months of therapy, she is already getting stronger and has moved one of her hind legs.
“Now she is able to change her position by herself, so it seems like the surgery was successful,” Cabrera said. “Now she can eat 15 to 20 chicken breasts per day without problem. She is getting stronger. We want her story to be known by everyone, so people can prevent or stop hunting animals.”
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[Featured image: Veronica Cabrera]
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