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Zoo welcomes Sweden's first jaguars

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Zoo welcomes Sweden's first jaguars
09:51 CEST+02:00
The first jaguars have now set foot on Swedish shores. One male and two female specimens of the exotic cat have arrived to the zoo Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, an hour west of Stockholm, reported local newspaper Eskilstuna-Kuriren.

The jaguars are part of a conservation project.

“We've distinguished ourselves as a zoo which takes great care of its animals, and we've succeeded in breeding animals which normally are tricky to breed,” said the zoo's manager Helena Olsson to Eskilstuna-Kuriren.

The male jaguar, black as coal and named Avatar, comes from Poland, while his new roommates, sisters Mocoa and Yupala, come from France.

“I have to confess that my heart beats extra hard every day, and not just because they're so big, but because it's such a big deal to be allowed to work with these animals, when there aren't so many left of them,” said zookeeper Erika Tagesson to the newspaper.

The jaguar's natural habitat stretches over a large portion of the Americas, but deforestation and poaching have brought its numbers down rapidly in recent years, and the cat is now considered to be nearing a threat of extinction.

Olsson notes that Parken Zoo is now the only Swedish zoo to have all the largest cats.

“We're so excited to be able to show our guests the three largest cats in the world. We already had lions and tigers, and now we have jaguars too, the largest cat in South America.”

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