Opposites Attract: Wild and Captive Jaguars Mate in Argentina to Save Species

Conservationists are taking an unorthodox approach to save jaguars from dying out in Argentina’s northern forests: matchmaking a captive female with a wild male.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - The unusual courtship of Tania, brought up in a zoo, and Qaramta, meaning “The One Who Cannot Be Destroyed” in the regional Qom language, began last year around a specially constructed enclosure in the dense forests of Argentina’s Impenetrable National Park.

With jaguars all but wiped out from the area, conservationists were thrilled in late 2019 to detect a young male, first by a pawprint in a muddy river bed, then using camera traps. Seeking a mate for him, they brought in Tania, who had produced cubs in a breeding programme in a neighbouring park . . .

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