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Death of female jaguar hard for researchers as numbers continue to decrease

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — An adult jaguar has been found run over and left dead on the side of a highway not far from Playa del Carmen.

The tragic event occurred in the vicinity of kilometer 10 of the road known as Ruta de los Cenotes. The female jaguar, whose numbers are decreasing quickly, was hit by a vehicle and left for dead on the side of the road.

She was discovered by locals and reported to officials who regretted reporting the death of the cat. Raul Padilla Borja, wildlife activist in Riviera Maya made the official report last week, documenting her death with video in hopes of raising community awareness about the nocturnal jungle animals.

“It was very difficult to see this beautiful female lifeless. The video was recorded the next day when the body was recovered from the road thanks to the people of Reserva To, just before she was handed over to authorities,” said Raúl Padilla Borja, who specializes in the behavior of big cats in Quintana Roo.

Padilla Borja is urging both the general public and visitors to be responsible and to drive with caution without exceeding the posted speed limits. He says that the federal highways cross the jungle in areas where wild species migrate in search of food.

Pablo Navarro Noriega, director of the Conservation Program, said during the last century the population of the Panthera Onca (jaguar) has decreased dramatically. He says of the 20,000 that used to live in the country, the last census by the National Alliance for the Protection of the Jaguar in Mexico found around 4,000left in Mexico, 2,000 of which live among the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula.