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Chester Zoo Welcomes Rare Jaguar Inka

Black Jaguar. Copyright Chester Zoo
Black Jaguar. Copyright Chester Zoo

Chester, UK – In a significant boost to global conservation efforts, Chester Zoo has announced the arrival of Inka, a two-year-old female jaguar, as part of a special breeding program aimed at protecting this endangered species.

Inka The Black Jaguar

Black Jaguar. Copyright Chester Zoo
Black Jaguar. Copyright Chester Zoo

Inka, who was transferred from a zoo in Berlin, Germany, is set to play a pivotal role in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which coordinates the breeding of rare species to ensure their survival. Jaguars are currently listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss, poaching, and conflicts with humans.

Jaguars

Jaguar (Panthera onca palustris) female, Piquiri River, the Pantanal, Brazil.
Jaguar (Panthera onca palustris) female, Piquiri River, the Pantanal, Brazil. By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44247651

“Jaguars are remarkable creatures, both in terms of their beauty and their role in the ecosystem,” explained Dr. Mark Pilgrim, CEO of Chester Zoo. “By participating in this breeding programme, we hope not only to aid in the increase of their population but also to raise awareness about the challenges jaguars face in the wild.”

Chester Zoo

A black panther is the melanistic color variant of any big cat species. Black panthers in Asia and Africa are leopards (Panthera pardus), and those in the Americas are jaguars (Panthera onca). Image via depositphotos.

Inka’s new home at Chester Zoo has been specially designed to mimic her natural habitat. It includes a large paddling pool, climbing structures, and secluded resting areas to help her adjust to her new environment comfortably and safely. The enclosure allows visitors to learn about jaguars while observing Inka in a setting that promotes her natural behavior.

Conservation

Panther also known as a Black Jaguar. Image via depositphotos.

The zoo’s conservation experts have expressed optimism about Inka’s future contribution to the species’ genetic diversity. “Inka comes from a lineage with very valuable genetic traits, which are crucial for a successful breeding program,” said Sarah Roffe, manager of the zoo’s carnivore team. “Her arrival is not just a win for Chester Zoo, but for jaguar conservation worldwide.”

Chester Zoo collaborates closely with conservationists in South and Central America, where jaguars are native. These efforts are part of a broader initiative to protect the habitats of wild jaguars and to foster a deeper understanding and respect for these animals.

The boyfriend

Inka has been carefully selected as a fitting companion for Chester’s resident male jaguar, Napo – above. Copyright Chester Zoo
Inka has been carefully selected as a fitting companion for Chester’s resident male jaguar, Napo – above. Copyright Chester Zoo

As Inka settles into her new surroundings, the team at Chester Zoo remains committed to the care of this majestic animal and the preservation of her species. They continue to advocate for the protection of jaguars through research, public education, and active participation in international conservation projects.

Video

YouTube video

In Summary

Visitors to Chester Zoo can now view Inka daily during visiting hours, where they will have the unique opportunity to witness one of nature’s most extraordinary predators and learn about the global efforts to save them.

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