Agustin Saavedra writes in El Deber:
Lets save the jaguar!
The jaguar – commonly called ‘tiger’ in Bolivia and elsewhere in the American continent is one of the least studied wild cats. For its solitary nature, coupled with its extensive habitat – from the jungles of Central America to the vast Amazonian regions, the Pantanal and the coast – Rio de la Plata, research on this remarkable feline have been smaller in scale than those made to its relatives in other latitudes. Third in size and weight in the cat line, the jaguar is only surpassed by the Asian tiger and African lion. Looks like the leopard (4.° in size), but the jaguar is much more solid.
With regard to the name ‘jaguar’, linguists agree that the term belongs to the “tupiguaraníes” languages. The word which seems to have derived is ‘yaguara’ which means for some ‘carnivore’ and others ‘cat that kills’. The latter seems the most appropriate definition.
The emblematic figure of the jaguar has been subject of legends and religious cults among the native peoples of the Americas; is said to this day about warriors who carry the spirit of the jaguar, to be invincible.
Despite having no natural enemies and be on top of the food chain, the jaguar has been hunted mercilessly by the cruel and bloodthirsty beast of the earth, which, as we know, is the human being. In addition, the jaguar has also been confined to a reduced habitat. Without going too far, often clashed with the expansion of agricultural areas in several countries, thus becoming danger to livestock in its condition for being a natural predator. The value of its skin also generated greed and cause for him being hunt mercilessly. Little was done in the past to preserve this beautiful feline, palpable expression of strength, power and telluric tradition.
But already sounded the warning: jaguar is now on the list of endangered animals. On this basis, several international organizations provide valuable support to achieve its conservation in natural areas, but the trend is downward, still persist for criminal trafficking of wild skins. This should be severely penalized, especially in the regions of eastern Bolivia, where we are lucky to still have the presence of the mysterious jaguar. The authorities should do their own thing. If today the Bengal tiger is almost extinct in their home and barely survives in zoos, we can not let the same thing happen in the future with this magnificent and iconic American feline. Long live the jaguar, free!