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"Jaguars: Born Free" on BBC Knowledge

Photo Credit: BBC Knowledge

Photo Credit: BBC Knowledge

The jaguars of Brazil are protected by law, but parts of the country are beyond its reach, where cowboys protect their ranches with guns. Jaguars: Born Free meets one man with three orphan cubs, making a difference.

Brazilian jaguar expert Leandro Silveira has run the Jaguar Conservation Fund from his remote ranch for the past 25 years.

When he was given three orphaned jaguar cubs after their mother was shot down by cowboys, he nursed them back to health and filmed their remarkable recovery on camera. After teaching them how to live in the wild, he is releasing them back into the jungle.

This one-off episode follows the cubs’ journey from helpless infants to adventurous cats in the jungle, following the young adults as they are set free into the wilderness, tracking the fortunes of each for three months using satellite collars. Are they now too close to their human family to be truly wild?

Leandro also has his own mission to ensure the jaguars have a future, confronting the cowboys themselves to persuade them to put their guns back in the holsters.