Little Jaguar Was Hiding Saddest Secret Inside Her Body
"Now she can eat 15 to 20 chicken breasts per day without problem. She is getting stronger."
When a little jaguar was discovered, unable to move and without her mom, a good Samaritan contacted the exact right people to help her.
Veterinarians found that the jaguar was tetraplegic, unable to move her legs. So they used an X-ray to look inside her to figure out what was wrong.
"Every week we receive wild animals from all over the country who are victims of indiscriminate hunting," Veronica Cabrera, a veterinary student at San Francisco de Quito University in Ecuador, told The Dodo. The jaguar was getting seen by the doctors at the veterinary hospital's wildlife animal rescue organization, TUERI.
"We don't know exactly what happened because villagers don't want to give information, but she was found next to a palm plantation without her mother," Cabrera said. "We suppose they were too close to the plantation and were shot."
The 11-month-old jaguar is believed to be another victim of indiscriminate hunting. Veterinarians discovered 18 bullets inside the big cat. Two of these shots had damaged her spinal cord.
But veterinarians didn't give up on her. They named her D'yaira.
D'yaira went into surgery with Dr. Andrés Ortega and Dr. Gabriela Parra, but they discovered many bullets were too embedded in her bones to be removed.
"They will try another surgery," Cabrera said, adding that they think D'yaira will need five months of physiotherapy in the hospital before sending her to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
"We want her story to be known by everyone, so people can prevent or stop hunting animals," Cabrera said.
Even though she has a long road ahead of her, this week D'yaira already showed some signs of improvement. On Thursday, two veterinary students saw her moving one of her hind legs.
"Now she is able to change her position by herself, so it seems like the surgery was successful," Cabrera said. "Now she can eat 15 to 20 chicken breasts per day without problem. She is getting stronger."
To help save jaguars like this one, you can make a donation to Defenders of Wildlife.