On 2nd April 2017 a very special little cat was born. Keira, as she was later named, is currently the only jaguar cub in the UK and the first born at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.
Keira's parents, Kumal and Kedera, were introduced to each other 18 months ago. It's an incredibly exciting time for the wildlife park, which is one of only two zoos in the UK recommended to breed jaguars as part of the EEP (European Endangered Species Programme). Also for conservation in general as jaguars are classified as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
There was quite a wait to see Keira as she and her mum were kept away from public view until she had completed her course of vaccinations. When it was announced that Keira was venturing outside, you couldn't keep me away!
Aside from the obvious delight around Keira's birth, a couple of things made her arrival extra sepcial for me. First of all she shares her birthday with my Dad, who would have been 77 years old this year. In addition, Keira is the name of my eldest niece.
If you are in awe of Keira as much as I am, then keep an eye on my posts over the coming months as I hope to post further updates.