D’Yaria, an 11-month-old jaguar, was discovered badly injured by locals hiking through a remote forest. Veterinarians guessed she had been shot by cattle farmer looking to protect their herd, and dashed into wooded area looking for shelter.
They also believed farmers must have shot her mom, since D’Yaria was discovered alone and believe she is an orphan.
The baby jaguar was transported to a veterinary team in the nick of time at Darwin Animal Doctors, where they discovered 18 shotgun pellets lodged inside her body.
Other than some movement in her head and neck, D’Yaria was paralyzed.
Despite the grim diagnosis, Dr. Andres Ortega and Dr. Cris Cely were able to remove the pellets pressing down on her spine, and as D’Yaria began healing from the surgery, her ability to move came back.
After a month of rest and relaxation under round-the-clock supervision, D’Yaria was ready to move to a nature preserve nearby.
Officials say she is about 95 percent recovered, but Darwin Animal Doctors president Tod Emko told InsideEdition.com he hopes her story will spread awareness on the importance of taking care of the species.
“The goal of all the vets and Darwin Animal Doctors is to get the satellite tracking collar, as D'Yaria will go from victim and survivor to a champion for jaguar conservation,” Emko said.
To help researchers purchase satellite tracking collars for other jaguars, visit the Darwin Animal Doctors website.