MELBOURNE, Florida — A baby jaguar cub was born on January 26 at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida. The baby jaguar weighed 1.35 kilograms as of January 30. Zoo officials say that the new arrival is doing well and bonding nicely with its mother, Masaya. At this time, the sex of the cub is unknown.
“I feel so fortunate to be able to work with Masaya and LeBron, the breeding pair. It isn’t easy to introduce a male and female jaguar,” said Kerry Sweeney, a curator at Brevard Zoo. “The staff did an excellent job in 2010 when these two jaguars met, creating a comfortable environment for the pair.”
Masaya, gave birth to her first cub, Nindiri, in June 2007. She later had two male cubs, Jean and Phil, in September 2008. Masaya continues to demonstrate that she is an attentive mother to this new arrival.
Nindiri was sent to the San Diego Zoo in June 2008 to be paired with a male jaguar as part of
the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (AZA SSP). Nindiri gave birth to two cubs at the San Diego Zoo in April 2012. The two male cubs, Jean and Phil, were sent to the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park in January 2010.
It will be a couple of months before the new cub ventures out on exhibit.
Brevard Zoo, through its Quarters for Conservation program, continues to support efforts to
preserve jaguars. To date, the Zoo has contributed more than $18,800 in grants to support jaguars in the wild. It is estimated that jaguars have lost nearly 50 percent of their home range in the last 10 years. Since jaguars do not live in large populations and are constantly on the move, it is difficult to ascertain reliable population data.
Jaguars are found in the dense forests and swampy grasslands of Central and South America. Known for swimming and climbing, jaguars are carnivores and hunt deer, monkeys, tapirs, capybara, turtles and fish. Sexual maturity for these animals occurs about three years of age and litters of one to four young are common. Jaguars can live up to 20 years in captivity.
PHOTO CREDIT: Brevard Zoo