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Purrfect match leaves big cats feline in the mood for love

ROMANCE has blossomed for a new couple at Edinburgh Zoo.

One-year-old black jaguar Mowgli was brought to the city in October from a zoo in France to meet his new mate, Handaya.

The coupling is part of an international breeding programme aimed at protecting the endangered species.

Fewer than 10,000 jaguars still exist in the wild and numbers are falling due to the destruction of their natural habitat and the slaughter of the animals for the fur trade. In many areas of the rainforest in Central and South America the species is on the brink of extinction.

Handaya, who has the more common coat of golden yellow, arrived from Colchester Zoo in September.

Raymond Russell, senior carnivore keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We're confident Mowgli will become a great favourite here. Together with Handaya, they make a striking pair."

The jaguar has short legs designed for strength rather than speed, and the most powerful bite in the big cat family.

Its name comes from the South American Indian word "yaguara", meaning "a beast that kills its prey with one bound".

 
 
 

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