Veterinarians thought they had made a scientific breakthrough after the world’s first jaguar to be born by artificial insemination was birthed. Unfortunately, the little cub didn’t last long thanks to her mother. The cub was born in Jundiaí, Sao Paulo, Brazil with the help of veterinarians from the environmental organization Mata Ciliar.
According to a report from the New York Post, the cub’s mother, a five-year-old jaguar named Bianca, ate the cub which was born on February 16.
The cub was just two days old when her mother went full-on carnivore.
“Unfortunately after two days, the cub died. We don’t know why and cannot say if it was killed by the mother because it was not seen on the monitors on the second day,” Samuel Nunes, a spokesperson for Mata Ciliar, told FocusOn News.
“Bianca was a first-time mother and this may have influenced the outcome of the event. The veterinary team could not conduct a necropsy because the baby had already been eaten.”
Despite the cub being eaten, the veterinarians are calling their project a success.
“From a scientific perspective, we are celebrating the fact that the baby was born healthy and that AI was a success,” said Dr. Lindsey Vansandt, a CREW researcher.
Dr. Bill Swanson, another researcher at CREW, added: “The birth of this cub is an important historical landmark. It invigorates the possibility of the use of assisted reproduction as a management tool that increases the genetic variability of (captive and wild) populations and the conservation of these endangered iconic cats.”
The project was launched as an effort to help conservation of the endangered species. Currently, 90 percent of the jaguars living are in a small, Amazonian territory. They can also be found in the southwestern United States all the way to Argentina. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, there are only around 15,000 jaguars left in the wild.