This is Itzae, the rare albino puma at the Nicaragua Zoo
A Nicaraguan zoo opened its doors on Friday for visitors to meet Itzae, an albino female puma almost four months old who has caused a sensation on social networks since his birth was announced in August.
"I'm here seeing this little animal that we had not been able to see, only through social networks," commented Marta Vargas, 59, who visited the Thomas Belt zoo with her daughter and granddaughter, in the city of Juigalpa, department of Chontales. 139 km from Managua.
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Named "Gift of God" (Itzae, in Mayan), the albino puma was born in a birth with two other cubs, Itzel and Itziar, who have the usual light brown coat.
The genetic mutation that caused its white pigmentation is rare among animal speciesespecially in these felines, of which there are only four documented cases in the world, according to the magazine National Geographic.
He underwent a complete clinical check-up (...) and it was determined that, along with his sisters, he is in optimal health," explained the zoo's veterinarian, Carlos Molina.
The beautiful Itzae will be officially presented to the public this November 10.
Itzae born in #Nicaragua Along with Itzel, Itziar, is a unique Albino Puma in Central America and the fourth case worldwide.#StrengthOfVictorias @Titomara4 @alexaplomo79 @GranSabanaPura pic.twitter.com/PQ4OUSLV2d
— Yara (@YaraGmez) November 7, 2023
Itzae is "more active, much more playful, she is much more aggressive, even than her sisters," he added.
Since it was born, the animal has been away from the public, but the few images that were published went viral.
The zoo kept the cage where Itzae, her mother and her sisters remain covered with an awning, but since this Friday you will be partially lifted a few hours in the morning for a monthso that visitors can appreciate the rare feline.
Green and white balloons were placed around the cage and a sign with the legend "We are the house of Itzae" invites visitors to take photos with the image of the puma.
Mauricio Espinoza, in charge of environmental education at the zoo, said they expected that the number of visits, estimated at about 3,000 or 4,000 people per month, will double later.
The Puma It is the second largest cat in America after the jaguarand the fourth in the world after the tiger and the lion.
"For me it is a strange thing," said Mauricio Martínez, 63, a resident of Juigalpa, who took his granddaughter to the zoo.
I feel proud to have that species here in Juigalpa (...). I invite the population to come to the zoo so that they can see that it is a real thing, that it is not an invention of the people or those who work at the zoo, that the little animal is really alive. Many said that it was only in the photo, but no," said Martínez, at the foot of Itzae's cage.
With information from AFP.
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