Amanaci the jaguar found with severely burnt paws in the Pantanal

Jaguar, photo: Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
Jaguar, photo: Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

A spotted female jaguar named Amanaci is one of the hundreds of thousands of wildlife victims of the worst fires on record blazing through the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands in South America.

She was found with extremely burnt paws. Amanaci was one of the lucky ones. She was rescued by volunteers and brought to the sanctuary NEX No Extinction, dedicated to protecting endangered wild cats.

They have been treating her with cutting-edge medicine: stem-cell injections to speed up her recovery.

“We hope to see her walking on all four paws soon, with her quality of life restored,” said Patricia Malad, a vet who manages the stem-cell treatment. Cells were taken from Amanaci and cultivated in a lab before the first injection on the weekend.

“It makes me angry and sad seeing these how these animals are suffering,” said Cristina Gianni, founder of the sanctuary NEX where 23 jaguars are being treated and looked after.

Gianni said she has never seen so much suffering caused to wildlife animals by record blazes in the Pantanal and blamed the lack of fire prevention plans by the authorities.

The Pantanal, whose name comes from the Portuguese word for ‘swamp’, covers more than 150,000 square kilometers in Brazil and extends into Bolivia and Paraguay.

The fires are the worst in 15 years. The flames threaten the region’s biodiversity, rich with tapirs, pumas, capybaras and the world’s most dense population of jaguars.

At the NEX sanctuary, it’s too early to say if Amanaci will be able to return to the wild. That will depend on the recovery of her paws, hopefully sped up by the stem-cell treatment.

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