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Zoo welcomes Sweden's first jaguars

TT/Clara Guibourg · 21 Apr 2012, 09:51

Published: 21 Apr 2012 09:51 GMT+02:00

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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.

Story continues below…

“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.”

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:54 April 21, 2012 by Gletta
As there is a theoretical possibility that they may escape and run rampant over the country, eating hunters dogs and small children as they go it would be better to just shoot them now.
12:51 April 21, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
I think as long as 'zoo security', and treatment of the animals are both good, then its justifiable to keep them as part of a conservation project - if a breeding programme means they can later be re-released into their natural environment
16:36 April 21, 2012 by libertarianism
A more interesting story might have dealt with the debate of whether or not tax payers should finance a company (Park Zoo) that loses several million dollars each year.

As far as conservation goes, it seem that it would be more cost effective and healthy to support conservationism in the animals' native South/Central American habitat.

I find it infinitely sad and wrong to think of these beautiful creatures held captive in Elskilstuna. :(
17:14 April 21, 2012 by Steggles

I agree...........any conservation programmes on any species should be carried out in their native natural country/habitat.

When and where are any of the animals bred from these successful breeding programmes released?

I love to see the animals and sadly that is the only way we will ever see them the current rate the natural habitat of all animals is being destroyed.

Until the human race changes it's attitude on the environment then maybe there is some hope!
18:29 April 21, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
My reaction (like a lot of folk) is that 'conservation projects' should lead to wild animals being returned to the wild.

Its actually an 'uphill struggle' with economic pressures already taking its toll on the natural environment . In addition I came across a website that frankly admits the difficulties in 'captive breeding programmes' and returning creatures to their natural environment. Zoos play a very limited role - its actually governments who have the clout


I personally was excited by the reintroduction of sea eagles to the Scottish coast some years ago - courtesy of the Norwegian air force. But a sea eagle may be a far more modest creature to transport, than a jaguar!
20:48 April 21, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 5, thanks for sharing. Hadn't heard of the sea eagle reintroduction.
21:15 April 21, 2012 by zeulf
Not only in South America, Also in the southern USA Not as a breeding populatin , perhaps Nature will find a way
21:58 April 21, 2012 by Abe L
#3 - Happy to be able to show my kids real animals without having to travel to Africa though.

Don't disagree regarding the public financing, these places should be profitable on their own.
07:40 April 22, 2012 by eppie
@abe L

And how exactly should an organisation that helps conserving almost extinct animals be profitable on it's own?

And still you probably juts look at the money.....what about the price of saving an animal from extinction?

The only way our current economic system will survive is if we add a cost for impact on the earth of every consumption good, and if we give conservation efforts money, just like CO2 rights.

I am sure this zoo will have black numbers once we look at it like that.

And to add to that, I think all conservation efforts....also in the habitat area's of for example such animals run on government or private funding and will never be profitable.
15:58 April 25, 2012 by libertarianism
Re post 9,

I imagine it would be infinitely cheaper to support animals native to South America in South America (for example). Many animals are bred and then their babies are taken from them and flown to whatever distant habitat where the babies most often die. Sounds pretty rotten to me.

To my understanding, conservation projects that take place in the animals' natural environment where workers can assist the animals and babysit them there have a greater success rate. The money would be better spent in the animals' natural habitat. The several million dolllars that's lost every year in Sweden could be used to support and/or buy safe habitat, for example, in South America.

Furthermore, the Swedish state is responsible for providing healthcare for humans, which it continually fails to do. The yearly million dollars loss could save a number of lives and quality of lives. I don't think it's wise that Swedish tax payers house and care for non-native exotic animals at the expense of the sick and elderly.
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