Last October, a poor defenceless baby jaguar was shot several times, and when she was found she had 18 shotgun pellets lodged inside her tiny body.

The jaguar was named D’Yaria, and whilst she could move her head and her neck slightly, her body had become paralysed.

Andres Ortega

It is thought that Farmers in Shushufindi, Ecuador had shot the wild animal.

María Cristina Cely, a veterinarian with Darwin Animal Doctors, explained: “This is an area where people have cattle, and jaguars are known for going into farms and killing cattle, so what the locals do is just kill the jaguars to preserve the cattle. It’s very sad.”

Andres Ortega

Cely believes that D’Yaria’s mom had also been shot, but maybe she had not been so lucky. Otherwise she would still have been with her baby.

After becoming injured D’Yaria probably ran into the forest for cover, but her little legs could not take her very far, leaving her collapsed and desperate for help.

“If she had not been found and she had not been treated, she would have not survived,” Cely said. “She was paralysed and she would not have been able to drink water and not be able to hunt or find food for herself.”

Andres Ortega

Luckily for D’Yaria help came quickly. Local people were walking through the forest when they stumbled across her. Whilst they figured out what to do with the injured cat, they loaded her onto the back of a pick-up truck.

They decided to take her to an animal hospital at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador’s capital – a five hour drive away.