A 15 year-old male Jaguar named Cubai who was rescued from a house in the Yungas region and then taken to the La Paz Vesty Pakos Zoo, was relocated to La Senda Verde this past November due to his advanced age and the recommendations from the vets to find him a home with a lower altitude.
Large cat, big project
Back in July when we were on campaign to build the two resident Margays a new enclosure, I remember Vicky saying “La Senda Verde is no place for large cats”. Things change. This past November, we begun a very dedicated and intense campaign to raise funds for one of the largest enclosures ever built at La Senda Verde, so today we can say it is a place for large cats, at least for the third largest cat in the planet, the Jaguar.
Almost two meters long and weighing over 150 pounds, Jaguars need a lot of space to roam around. For this reason we have set on the mission to build Cubai a proper enclosure, which will be measuring 20 meters long by 10 meters wide and 7 meters high. The enclosure is accompanied by a management cage with a built-in 3 meter-long pool. The total cost: 10 dollars short of the 20,000 dollar mark.
People from all over the world have been so generous to Cubai and with La Senda Verde that we have been able to raise much of the funds necessary to complete his enclosure. Important donations came from companies in La Paz and from individuals and ex-volunteers. Cubai’s enclosure project was the heart of this year’s #GivingTuesday campaign. There are still a lot more funds to be gathered, if you wish to be part of Cubai you may donate to his project: Jaguar enclosure
15 Years ago a couple of biologists rescued a baby Jaguar from a hunter in the Alto Madidi region. The family of this couple had a house in the Yungas region near Coroico. They took the baby jaguar to this house, where he was provided with love, dedication, good nurturing, care and was constructed a nice enclosure of at least 100m2, narrow but long, that allowed him to run and jump.
Knowing the law, a few years back they decided to tell about the existence of the Jaguar to the environmental authorities, who sought a place where to receive this adult jaguar. Not a single animal refuge was able to receive him due to his advanced age, which makes handling him more difficult.
A few months back, the environmental police POFOMA went on and seized Cubai from this family. He was anaesthetised and after being shown on live TV he was taken to the La Paz Vesty Pakos Zoo. In his initial home, he was living at 1700 meters above sea level. The La Paz Zoo is at 3100 meters. The highest elevation jaguars naturally live in South America is 2000 meters.
In the Zoo he was well cared for, but he was kept in quarantine as the procedure demands until the authorities were able to find him a final home. The Zoo then presents a technical report recommending he be sent to a lower altitude, due to the advanced age of the animal.
Cubai was by then severely traumatised, for a second time he had lost his family and home. With close collaboration from the environmental bureau of La Paz (Secretaría de la Madre Tierra de La Paz), the national bureau of protected areas (DGBAP), the Vesty Pakos Zoo and Senda Verde, Cubai was transferred to the Senda Verde Animal refuge in Yolosa on November 21st. He arrived to the management cage that was recently finished, while we gather the funds to build the complete enclosure.
Upon arrival, Cubai recognises the smell of the Yungas and immediately takes property of his management cage. But his eyes still reflect sadness, broken souls don’t recover from one day to the other.
Better days for Cubai
Three weeks after Cubai’s arrival he looks better, the expression in his face has changed, he enjoys the pool and attentively observes how his new enclosure is being built. He has excellent appetite and feels confident.
The La Paz Vesty Pakos Zoo did an excellent job with Cubai, and the family that had kept him all this time too. To them we want to say that he will be in excellent hands and will take as good care of him as they did.
Cubai was named after the god of the Cubeos people of Colombia, Cubai. His former owner was inspired by the book El Último Indígena “The Last Native” by Tiberio de Jesus Acevedo.