By Richard Mann

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A black jaguar cub was rescued on Thursday, June 13th, in the municipality of Paranaíta, 849 km from Mato Grosso’s state capital Cuiabá. According to the team of the State Secretary of Environment (SEMA), who conducted the rescue, the three-month-old cub is a male, was found without his mother and very feeble.

The jaguar has melanism, which is a rare genetic alteration. The concentration of black pigment in the skin 'hides' the common spots in this species.
The black jaguar has melanism, which is a rare genetic alteration. The concentration of black pigment in the skin “hides” the usual spots in this species. (Photo internet reproduction)

The animal is known as a black jaguar or black panther. The emergence of the black panther is a cause for celebration among biologists throughout Brazil. According to the researchers, the species is endangered.

The jaguar has melanism, which is a rare genetic alteration. The concentration of black pigment in the skin “hides” the spots common to this species.

The animal was found in a grazing area by a resident. He kept the cub for a week, but aware that it was very debilitated, he decided to ask SEMA for assistance.

As a result of malnutrition, the animal was referred to the Veterinary Hospital of the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT) in Sinop, 503 km from Cuiabá.

Blood work, clinical, and morpho-biometric tests were performed. The first results showed dehydration and nutritional imbalance, in addition to impaired eyesight.

The “blindness” would be a result of the nutritional condition, according to Professor Elaine Conceição, responsible for the wildlife care department of the hospital.

The cub will now be given vitamin replenishment medication and, if it recovers, it will be prepared to be returned into the wild.

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