It’s been 70 years since jaguars left their round, four-toed footprints in the ground of the Iberá Wetlands, a 1.3-million-hectare (3.2-million-acre) tract of swamps, waterways and islands in northeastern Argentina’s Corrientes province. But things are changing now.
Two weeks ago, conservationists opened up a pen that held two 4-month-old jaguar cubs, Karai and Porã, and their mother, Mariua, giving them free and open access to Gran Iberá Park, a 709,717-hectare (1.75-million-acre) park established in 2018 by the NGO Tompkins Conservation. This release is part of a grand scheme to rewild the Iberá Wetlands by reinstating several species, including the jaguar (Panthera onca), which was driven to local extinction due to hunting and habitat loss.
Sebastian di Martino, conservation director at Fundación Rewildling Argentina, an NGO that works in collaboration with Tompkins Conservation, the Argentine government, Argentina’s national parks agency, and the Corrientes provincial government, said the release of the jaguars is the result of 10 years of hard work.
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