Jaguar

Jaguar Cubs Explore With Mom at Houston Zoo

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The Houston Zoo’s four-month-old Jaguar cubs recently made their public debut.

Fitz and his sister, Emma, were born to first-time parents Maya and Tesoro on July 20. The cubs have been behind-the-scenes with mom the past few months.

During most mornings, the family can be seen exploring their outdoor habitat. According the zoo, the cubs and their mom also have access to their “night houses” or caves if they choose to have privacy.

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4_23456221_10156096682252526_6083372874291509906_oPhoto Credits: Houston Zoo

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a big cat and is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. The Jaguar is the third-largest feline species after the Tiger and the Lion, and the largest in the Americas.

The Jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. The species has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century.

Continue reading "Jaguar Cubs Explore With Mom at Houston Zoo" »


Black Jaguar Cubs Learn to Stalk at ARTIS

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The two Jaguar cubs born at ARTIS Zoo on June 28 recently explored their outdoor exhibit. Zoo visitors can now see the male and female on a regular basis, putting to practice their natural stalking abilities and big-cat skills.

The cubs are unique in their appearance. Both cubs have what is known as “color morphism” and are black in color (their father is also black). Color morphism is known to occur in the Jaguar species. Jaguars with melanism appear almost entirely black, although their spots are still visible on closer examination.

Melanistic Jaguars (or “black” jaguars) occur primarily in South America, and are virtually unknown in wild populations residing regions of North America. They are informally known as “Black Panthers”, but they do not form a separate species.

Extremely rare albino individuals, sometimes called “White Panthers”, also occur among Jaguars.

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4_jaguarwelpen_buiten_nieuwsbericht_7_1920x1080.jpg__1920x1430_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscale (1)Photo Credits: ARTIS/Joke Kok

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a big cat and is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. The Jaguar is the third-largest feline species after the Tiger and the Lion, and the largest in the Americas.

The Jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. The species has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century.

This spotted cat most closely resembles the Leopard physically, although it is usually larger and of sturdier build and its behavioral and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the Tiger.

Dense rainforest is its preferred habitat, but it will range across a variety of forested and open terrains. Its preferred habitats are usually swamps and wooded regions, but Jaguars also live in scrublands and deserts. It is notable, along with the Tiger, as a feline that enjoys swimming.

The Jaguar is largely solitary, opportunistic, and a stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. It is a keystone species, playing an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating the populations of the animals it hunts. The Jaguar has an exceptionally powerful bite, even relative to the other big cats. This allows it to pierce the shells of armored reptiles and to employ an unusual killing method: it bites directly through the skull of prey between the ears to deliver a fatal bite to the brain.

The Jaguar is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and its numbers are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat. While international trade in Jaguars or their parts is prohibited, the cat is still frequently killed by humans, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America.

ARTIS is part of the European Breeding Program for Jaguars. As a result, the black male and spotted female met at the end of last year, and several coverings were observed. Once pregnant, the two Jaguars were separated again. A female has a gestation period of about three to four months. The female raised the cubs on her own, and after one-and-a-half to two years, the young cubs become independent of their mother’s care.

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Elmwood Park Zoo’s Jaguar Cubs Are a Nice Surprise

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Elmwood Park Zoo is excited to announce that their female Jaguar, Inka, has given birth to two cubs. The brother and sister were born in the early morning hours of January 24, and the zoo's animal care team has done everything in their power to make sure mom and cubs are safe and comfortable.

Inka and the cubs have been under constant observation since their discovery on the morning of the 24th. The cubs look great, are actively nursing for long periods of time, and are very vocal. Inka is a very attentive mother; she's so attentive that it took nearly a week before the staff was able to separate her in order to examine the cubs.

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4_Elmwood Park Zoo Jaguar Cub ScalePhoto Credits: Elmwood Park Zoo

The Pennsylvania zoo's male Jaguar, Zean, is the father of the cubs. Inka and Zean were directly introduced for the first time in October 2016; previously they had only been able to view each other between the fencing that separates their exhibit spaces.

The zoo is currently wrapping up construction on a brand new exhibit facility that will be home to the Jaguars. "Trail of the Jaguar," is slated to open in the spring. The decision was made to first introduce Inka and Zean in their older exhibit rather than the new facility so that their exciting first encounter would be on comfortable, familiar ground rather than a new and foreign area.

The first day of their introduction was October 12, 2016, which coincided with Inka's heat cycle. Staff witnessed the Jaguars exhibiting breeding behavior on the 12th, and then again on the 13th and 14th. Inka and Zean began to exhibit signs of aggression toward each other on the 14th (which also coincided with the end of Inka's cycle), so they were separated once again. The chances for a successful conception were slim for a couple of "first-timers," which is why the birth came as somewhat of a surprise.

The cubs are the first Jaguars born in 2017 within an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility. Their birth was recommended and planned by the AZA’s Species Survival Program (SSP).

Jaguars are classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, due to the continued loss of their natural habitat. The Jaguar SSP manages a genetically diverse population of 84 Jaguars in over 40 AZA accredited zoos all across the country.

Of the 3 SSP-managed cubs born in 2016, the two born in October at the San Antonio Zoo came from the pairing of Zean’s brother and Inka’s sister. The other cub, a female, was born at the Tulsa Zoo in March.

Inka and her cubs will be off exhibit and out of sight from the public for the next few months. They will be transferred into the new "Trail of the Jaguar" facility when the animal care staff determines that they are ready for the move.

Until they make their debut, the public can find periodic updates about the cub’s progress via the zoo’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EPZoo


Baby Jaguar Attacks Pumpkins

Babette_AGBabette the baby Jaguar met her first pumpkin this week – and the event was caught on camera by Tulsa Zoo staff.

Babette has been practicing her big-cat skills (as seen in this recent ZooBorns post) and she put those formidable talents to use attacking two large pumpkins delivered by zoo keepers.   The mighty little Jaguar bit, pounced, swatted and successfully subdued the large orange vegetables.

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Babette_ag3Photo Credit:  Aaron Goodwin
Video Credit:  Beth Wegner
Why did zoo keepers give pumpkins to the Jaguars, which eat only meat?  The pumpkins served as enrichment for the cats.  Zoos provide novel items like new foods, scents, boxes, and “toys” as enrichment to stimulate animals physically and mentally. 

As a cub, Babette is naturally curious and energetic.  She has become a fan favorite since her birth was announced in September when she was about six weeks old.  Born June 29 to female Ixchel, Babette was named after her father Bebeto, who died of age-related complications in April. 

Babette will play an important role in the future of her species by someday breeding with an unrelated male as part of the Species Survival Plan managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Jaguars are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to the loss of rain forest habitat in Mexico, Central America, and South America. 


Beautiful Babette Developing Big-Cat Skills

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The Tulsa Zoo welcomed this beautiful Jaguar cub, Babette, on June 29. ZooBorns introduced our fans to the sweet girl in early September (See our article: “Meet Baby Babette, the Jaguar Cub”)

This is the third successful reproduction of this species for the Tulsa Zoo. Jaguar mom, Ixchel, has been consistently attentive and protective. Staff says she never lets her little one out of sight. The pair went on exhibit in October, and Zoo visitors now have a chance to see the lovely mother-daughter duo.

Zoo staff voted to name this new cub in honor of her late father, Bebeto, who was humanely euthanized in April due to age-related complications.

In the wild, Jaguars prefer to stalk and ambush their prey, and Babette currently practices her developing skills in playtime with her mother. As with mothers of all species, this can be a test of patience, and Ixchel endures annoying moments of her daughter awaking her from naptime to play with her tail. Babette also like to ambush mom from inside boxes.

Staff reports that the young Jaguar is also working to perfect another important big cat skill—climbing. According to Keepers, she learned to climb out of the nest box earlier than previous Jaguar cubs in their care, and once she was given access to the exhibit, it took no time at all before she was climbing up into the trees and onto the higher perching.

Despite her dabbling with independence, Babette is still a ‘mommas-girl’ and is taking a bit longer to wean. This includes being a bit particular and picky with the solid food she is given as well.

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4_IMG_4344Photo Credits: Dr. Jen Kilburn/ Tulsa Zoo

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. The Jaguar is the third-largest feline after the Tiger and the Lion, and the largest in the Americas. The Jaguar's present native range extends from the Southwestern United States and Mexico, across much of Central America, and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.

This big cat closely resembles the Leopard physically, although it is usually larger and its behavioral and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the tiger.

Its preferred habitats are usually rainforests, swamps, and wooded regions, but Jaguars will also live in scrublands and deserts.

The Jaguar enjoys swimming, and it is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain (an apex predator).

The Jaguar is currently classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat. Although international trade in Jaguars or their parts is prohibited, humans frequently kill the species (by poachers and farmers who view them as pests).

The birth of Babette at the Tulsa Zoo was in conjunction with the Jaguar SSP, or the Species Survival Plan®, which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos across the nation. There are currently more than 100 Jaguars in North American-accredited AZA zoos, while it is estimated that 10,000 Jaguars currently exist in the wild.


“It’s the Great Pumpkin…!”

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Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns are indicative of the fall season…and Halloween.

Zoo Keepers work hard to keep their animals healthy and happy. Enrichment toys and activities are an important tool that Keepers utilize to help in that pursuit. Enrichment items encourage natural behavior and stimulate the senses…and what could be more stimulating, this time of year, than celebrating by tearing into a bright orange pumpkin!

Happy Halloween from ZooBorns!

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Image 1: (Lynx) Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Muller

Image 2: “Red Pandas, Jung and Nima, get into the Halloween spirit”/ Chester Zoo

Image 3: (Snow leopard) Woodland Park Zoo

Image 4: (Amur Tiger) Woburn Safari Park

Image 5: Piglets-in-a-pumpkin/ Tierpark Berlin

Image 6: “Andean Bear, Bernie, tucks into honey-coated treats”/ Chester Zoo

Image 7: “Black Jaguar, Goshi, enjoys and early treat”/ Chester Zoo

Images 8, 9: Elephant Pumpkin Stomp/ Denver Zoo

Image 10: (Chimpanzee)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 11: (Bison)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 12: (Giraffe “Mpenzi”)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 13: (Hippo)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Image 14: (Tiger)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Image 15: (Maned Wolf)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

More adorable Halloween pics, below the fold!

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Meet Baby Babette, the Jaguar Cub

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A female Jaguar cub born June 29 at the Tulsa Zoo has been named Babette by zoo staff.

Babette is still behind the scenes in a private den with her mother, Ixchel, where keepers observe the pair via remote cameras to ensure that the cub is nursing and developing properly. 

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14107831_10150676483779996_5236588206761736691_oPhoto Credit:  Jenna Schmidt/Tulsa Zoo
 
In the wild, Jaguar cubs remain in the den for several months and begin accompanying their mothers out of the den when they are about six months old.  So far, Ixchel is proving to be an attentive mother, which is no surprise given that this is her third litter.

Babette is named after her father Bebeto, who died of age-related complications in April. 

Jaguars’ predatory prowess is well known.  These big cats have extremely powerful jaws, and typically kill their prey by biting through the skull into the brain. 

Despite their formidable physical abilities, Jaguars are considered Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in their native range of Mexico, Central America, and South America.  Jaguars prefer tropical rain forests, which are shrinking due to human activity.  Experts estimate that only about 10,000 Jaguars remain in the wild.

There are about 100 Jaguars in North American zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  The AZA oversees the Species Survival Plan, which manages the Jaguar population for optimum genetic diversity. Babette will be an important part of the breeding program when she reaches adulthood.

 


Snow Day for Jaguar Cub at San Diego Zoo

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April 28th was a rainy morning in San Diego, but at the San Diego Zoo, the forecast called for snow! One-year-old Jaguar cub Valerio and his mom, Nindiri, woke up to an unexpected surprise: piles of fresh, glistening snow blanketing their habitat.

According to staff, the duo appeared cautious when they entered their exhibit, stepping gingerly on the snow, unsure how to react to the novel substance. However, after a few minutes, the pair started exploring, climbing, searching for buried meatballs and showcasing their natural behaviors while enjoying their chilly enrichment surprise. Animal care staff said the cats’ personalities really shined through, and it was fascinating seeing them venture to parts of their habitat they normally wouldn’t explore that early in the day.

The 8-tons of fresh powder was provided through a generous donation, to the Zoo’s animal care wish list, as an enrichment item for the Jaguars. The San Diego Zoo provides enrichment for the animals in its care, in an effort to encourage their natural behaviors and an attempt to provide them opportunity to thrive. The snow day marked the first time this mom and cub have ever encountered snow.

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3_JagSnow_01_LGPhoto Credits: San Diego Zoo

 

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a feline in the genus Panthera and is the only extant species native to the Americas. It is the third largest feline after the tiger and the lion. Their native range extends from the Southwestern United States and Mexico, across much of Central America, and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Apart from a possible population in southern Arizona and the lower south of New Mexico, the species has been largely extirpated from the U.S. since the early 20th Century.

The Jaguar resembles the leopard, but it is usually larger, with behavioral characteristics closer to those of the tiger. They prefer dense, forested habitation. The Jaguar is largely solitary and is a stalk-and-ambush predator.

Gestation for Jaguars lasts 93-105 days, and females will give birth to up to four cubs (typical litters consist of two). The mothers do not tolerate the presence of males after giving birth (due to fear of infanticide). The young are born blind, and their eyes open at about 2 weeks. The cubs are weaned at three months, but they remain in the den for six months to learn hunting and life skills from the mother.

Unfortunately, demand for the Jaguar’s beautiful rosette-pattern fur is one of the reasons this species is listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In addition, Jaguars are losing precious habitat, and human-Jaguar conflicts are causing their numbers to decrease rapidly. There are only an estimated 10,000 Jaguars left in the wild.

San Diego Zoo Global partners with the Wildlands Network and Latin American conservationists to study, monitor and protect Jaguars. Through those efforts, combined with educational outreach to local communities, the San Diego Zoo hopes to decrease human-Jaguar conflicts.

Zoo guests can visit Valerio, his mother Nindiri and their next-door lion mates, M’bari and Etosha, in their habitats at the Zoo’s Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey.


UPDATE: Jaguar Cub Gets His "Swagger"

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A Jaguar cub born August 20 is thriving under the care of zoo keepers at Texas’s Ellen Trout Zoo.  The male cub, named Balam (the Mayan word for Jaguar), was removed from his mother’s care shortly after his birth because his mother was not nursing him.

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11064722_967876099946391_1943007038755722702_nPhoto Credit:  Ellen Trout Zoo

You first read about Balam on ZooBorns here.  Now three weeks old, Balam is gaining weight – he currently weighs nearly four pounds – and is developing normally.  Balam’s keeper’s say he is becoming more coordinated, more active, and is increasingly aware of his surroundings, and although he still trips over his feet, Balam is developing his own Jaguar "swagger."

Jaguars are native to Central and South America, where they inhabit rain forests and wetlands, often living near rivers.  As the top predators in their ecosystem, Jaguars are dependent on sufficient prey levels to sustain themselves.  Jaguars populations are shrinking rapidly as forests are destroyed and converted to agricultural use.  These magnificent cats once ranged into the southwestern United States as recently as the early 20th century, but hunting and isolation from Central American populations put an end to a viable Jaguar population in the US.

See more photos of Balam below.

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Jaguar Birth Announced at Ellen Trout Zoo

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Ellen Trout Zoo, in Texas, recently announced the birth of a male Jaguar cub. The cub was born August 20 to 9-year-old mom, Seraphina, and 3-year-old dad, Kabah. The little boy has been named Balam (Mayan word for jaguar). 

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4_11950171_961046077296060_35610520625297344_oPhoto Credits: Ellen Trout Zoo

The new cub, which was born as part of the AZA Species Survival Plan, is an important new addition. The last Jaguar birth at Ellen Trout Zoo occurred in 1996 when a litter of three was born at the East Texas zoo.

Seraphina, unfortunately, was not nursing Balam after his birth. Keepers intervened and are now feeding and caring for him. The cub has been doing well under the Zoo Staff’s care and supervision. He weighed 1.6 pounds at birth and is now up to 2 pounds.

The Zoo has not stated when it will be possible to return Balam to the care of his mother. For now, their objective is to provide the attention he needs to ensure he thrives and develops properly.

The cub is not on public view, at the moment. Staff will post regular updates on the Zoo’s media pages, and they will announce when he makes his public debut.

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