Travel & Tourism

Chester Zoo has welcomed a rare black jaguar, and she’s GORGEOUS

Inka is already a fan favourite.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 6th August 2023

Chester Zoo has brought a new rare big cat into town, and she’s one good-looking feline.

The tourist attraction near Greater Manchester introduced the world to Inka, a two-year-old black jaguar, over the weekend.

She’s been brought to the zoo to be a companion for Chester Zoo‘s resident male, Napo.

Videos shared by the zoo show Inka exploring her new habitat with her jaw dropped – not a cat body language expert but she looks pretty stunned by her new home.

The gorgeous animal still has those signature jaguar markings, but she’s in shades of black and grey rather than the classic browns and oranges.


It’s not just us falling in love with Inka either – Chester Zoo themselves described her as a ‘strikingly beautiful, bold and confident’ young jaguar. Which zookeeper’s been copying my Tinder bio?!

But then the zoo went on to say she has ‘short and thick set limbs’, which isn’t so complimentary.


Fans have been delighted to see Inka making herself at home at the zoo, with hundreds of comments calling her ‘stunning’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘gorgeous’.

One person wrote: “She is beautiful! I follow the big cat sanctuary and love seeing her there, looking forward to seeing plenty of pics of her at Chester.”

Another said: “Stunningly gorgeous, what a beautiful addition to a brilliant zoo. So lucky to have Chester zoo on our doorstep.”


Carnivore experts at the zoo say her arrival will help to put a spotlight on her ‘remarkable’ species and support a European-wide conservation programme.

Jaguars are native to the Americas and listed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Their numbers are declining in the wild, mostly because of humans – habitat loss, illegal hunting and conflict with humans are putting them at risk of extinction.

Dave Hall, team manager of carnivores at Chester Zoo, said: “Inka is a strikingly beautiful, bold and confident young jaguar and she’s quickly taken to her new surroundings.

“The union between her and Napo, the resident male here in Chester, has been carefully orchestrated by carnivore experts from here (Chester Zoo) and The Big Cat Sanctuary and the coordinators of a programme that’s working in partnership to ensure a genetically viable population of jaguars across Europe.


“We hope the two of them will go to form a strong and meaningful bond, and the early signs are positive.

“Like Napo, Inka is a wonderful ambassador for her species. Jaguars are remarkable animals and the two of them together will help us to raise more much-needed awareness of the survival challenges that they face in the wild, the work that’s already being done by zoos, our partners and the local conservationists and communities to protect the ecosystems that jaguars live in, and help us to inspire further action for their conservation.”

Paul Bamford, regional field programmes manager for the Americas at Chester Zoo, added: “Deforestation and habitat fragmentation are reducing jaguar populations across their range. According to the IUCN, close to 70% of deforestation in Latin America is driven by industrial agriculture, primarily for soy, oil palm and cattle production.

“Many of these products are exported to countries such as the UK, and therefore, our shopping habits can have a significant impact on global biodiversity loss. In our role as consumers, we are unwittingly contributing to the destruction of nature on our planet.

“At Chester Zoo we are working to influence policy, both in the UK and internationally, to address this. We are supporting efforts to improve production standards and legislation so that deforestation is minimised, or eliminated for good, and wildlife can live safely alongside productive areas.


“The goal is to create a deforestation-free economy, in which countries are able to meet their development needs sustainably. If we can break the link between habitat loss and production, then we have the opportunity secure a future for people and wildlife.”

Read more

Featured image: Chester Zoo