Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — A jaguar that was killed by a motorist Thursday morning north of Playa del Carmen was two days away from giving birth. Mario Buil, the Director of Tesoros Naturales de México (Natural Treasures of Mexico), said the female jaguar was one of the animals they track.
Her name was Naku. She was killed Thursday morning after being hit by a car on a section of highway north of Playa del Carmen.
Buil, who is an activist and local conservationist of the jaguar, said Naku was between three and four years old and was pregnant when she was killed. During an autopsy, they learned she was about two days away from giving birth.
Buil says that there are animal crossing signs in the area which are ignored by drivers who refuse to slow down. On social media, Buil posted that the jaguar is in danger of extinction.
He also posted that Naku is already the second female jaguar to be killed this year due to careless drivers.
According to Buil, Naku was hit by a vehicle between 6:00 a.m. and 6:20 a.m. Thursday morning. She was run over on highway 307 between Playa del Secreto and the Nickelodeon Hotel just before a jaguar highway crossing sign.
“They are not there for decoration or because they look pretty, nor are they promotional for tourist parks as many people think. We put them there based on a scientific study and data collection carried out for more than 10 years.
“If you see them, slow down because the lives of various species of wildlife depend on it as does that of the people in the vehicle,” he wrote referring to the highway sign.
The unborn cub of Naku was also a female, making her the second jaguar killed in 2023.