Pregnant Mama Jaguar Who Killed Her Last 2 Cubs Ends Up Giving Vets The Fight Of Their Lives

For some animal populations, every single member of the species is integral to its overall survival. This is certainly the case for species like the jaguar, which, according to recent estimates, has about 15,000 members in the wild—at best.

This is why Spanish zookeepers were so excited when they learned that Xena the jaguar was pregnant. Any addition to the population would help keep the species alive. Sadly, when tragedy struck, the zookeepers were ready to lose all hope… until something miraculous happened.

Recently, when a group of veterinarians at a zoo in Madrid, Spain, noticed Xena the jaguar was pregnant, they could barely contain their excitement. In no time at all, they would be welcoming brand new cubs into their facility!

Shortly after Xena gave birth, the veterinarians realized something awful: Xena had killed her two cubs before anyone could stop her. It wasn’t unusual for a stressed mother jaguar to exhibit that behavior, but that didn’t make it any less tragic.

What made the tragic circumstances even worse was that the jaguar populations, which were concentrated in Central and South America, had been rapidly diminishing over the past several decades. Any addition to the dipping numbers would’ve be an amazing boost…

So it came as a relief when the veterinarians learned Xena was still pregnant with a third cub! But in order to keep this cub from suffering the same fate as the previous two, they were going to need some serious help.

Luckily, the El Bosque Veterinary Hospital in Madrid stepped in. After examining Xena themselves, the team decided she’d have to undergo a C-section in order to save the unborn cub. Of course, this would be a risky procedure for a cat of her size…

Still, the veterinarians were determined to deliver this third cub safely. So, with the help of a 12-person team, the risky operation began. One thing was for sure: this wasn’t going to be easy.

Just as quickly as the operation had begun, it was over—they had removed the tiny male cub from his mother! But little did they know that there were serious complications ahead…

The little cub didn’t appear to be breathing, and the team feared he was stillborn. Still, they weren’t about to give up—if there was even a remote chance they could revive him, they would do whatever it took.

One of the veterinarians scooped up the cub, grabbed a pump, and began performing emergency CPR. All the while, another assistant did her best to press on the cub’s chest, hoping his heart would start beating.

Sadly, it didn’t appear as though the pump was working. In a last ditch effort, one of the veterinarians, Dr. Patricia Garrido, began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. All anyone could do at that moment was pray.

All the while, an assistant felt around the cub’s body, hoping to detect even the faintest heartbeat. This process continued for a full eight gut-wrenching minutes. That was when something miraculous happened…

They detected a heartbeat! Yet there was no time to celebrate: they needed the cub, whom they named Ali, to continue to breathe. They cleaned him, gave him a series of shots, and placed him in an incubator…

“Ali could have died in eight minutes if it was not for the efforts of the team,” explained Antonio Rodriguez, one of the operating veterinarians. “I do not have words to explain the emotion. I’m really happy with my team’s work and we got a great reward.”

“The experience of seeing an animal start living and breathing after our help is really amazing. It is indescribable,” Antonio added. But Ali wasn’t going back to live with his mother. Instead, he’d need more human assistance.

Fearing that Ali’s mother could possibly cause him harm, the veterinarians decided it’d be best to bring the cub to a different zoo altogether. This meant that he would need to begin regular bottle feeding and have constant care. He would also need a surrogate mother…

As Ali’s keepers sought a permanent mother figure to raise him, Xena was brought back to her original zoo to recover from the surgery. Luckily, it appeared as though she’d be just fine.

Eventually, a couple named Olavo and Tahone came forward in hopes of fostering Ali as he continued to grow stronger. Shortly after, he was transported to their home to begin the recovery process.

And their home, the cub began to thrive. Not only was he incredibly playful, but like many big cats, he enjoyed going for a swim! In two months time, he’d outgrown their abode and he needed to find another place to stay…

Luckily for Ali, it wasn’t long before someone else came forward. They would be able to offer the cub not just another place to call home, but also another chance at a fulfilling life!

Ali was born into a remarkably scenario. If it wasn’t for the quick thinking of the zoo staff and action of the veterinarians and nurses, there was a good chance he wouldn’t have survived…

This jaguar cub’s life didn’t begin under normal circumstances, but Ali is definitely lucky to have had so many people who’ve cared about him since birth!

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