Leading conservationist and national attraction Chester Zoo recently extended a warm welcome to a big cat from Kent. The black jaguar is named Inka and arrived at the zoological gardens as a feature of a programme focused on the wellbeing of the species throughout Europe.
At just two years old, Ink is a rare female jaguar who was selected as an ideal companion for Chester Zoo’s resident male jaguar named Napo.
Carnivore experts at Chester have commented that the female jaguar’s arrival will be helpful in shining a spotlight on the species. However, it will also help the zoo support the European-wide programme dedicated to ensuring that an insurance population of genetically healthy jaguars exist in the continent’s most important conservation zoos.
Dave Hall, Chester’s Team Manager for Carnivores commented:
“Jaguars are remarkable animals and the two of them together will help us to raise more much-needed awareness of the survival challenges that they face in the wild, the work that’s already being done by zoos, our partners and the local conservationists and communities to protect the ecosystems that jaguars live in”.
Native to the Americas, jaguars hold ‘Near Threatened’ status with the world leading authority on nature’s present state, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that its scientists have assessed that the species will likely be at risk of extinction in the future.
Jaguars are currently facing several threats which are causing them to decline in the wild. These include illegal hunting, loss of habitat and conflict with human communities.