On September 29, two jaguar cubs were born at Brevard Zoo. The new arrivals are doing quite well, gaining weight and bonding with their mother, Masaya. They are expected to go out on exhibit for the first time in mid to late November. At this time, the sex of each cub is unknown.
He has little tiny spaces for teeth but NO TEETH!
One might remember that the female jaguar Masaya gave birth to her first cub Nindiri in June of 2007. Nindiri was just recently sent to the San Diego Zoo to be paired with a male jaguar as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP). In 2007, there were currently 44 animals (19 males; 25 females) at 19 institutions in the managed jaguar population. The target population size is 100 to 120.
"Once again, Masaya is proving to be an excellent mother, caring for and nursing each cub equally,” said Michael Magaw, Curator of Animals at Brevard Zoo. “Her confidence and comfort with her keepers and mate Xinca is very high; therefore, allowing him to remain within close proximity of their cubs. With the training Masaya's keepers have invested over the years, we are able to closely monitor their health and development as well as track their weight gain in relation to her last cub Nindiri. Surprisingly, both of this year’s cubs are larger than Nindiri was at two weeks of age. At present, both cubs are right at five pounds in weight and are gaining just over a pound a week. They are quite active and vocal even at this early age. We are all excited and looking forward to watching these two playing and growing together."
Through the zoo’s conservation fund, Brevard Zoo has given more than $7,500 in grants to support jaguars in the wild. It is thought that jaguars have lost nearly 50% of their home range in the last 100 years. And, since jaguars do not live in large populations and are constantly on the move, it is difficult to pinpoint reliable population data. Brevard Zoo supports the Cockscomb Jaguar Project in Belize. The goal of the project is to develop and implement a non-invasive monitoring program of jaguar populations and continue outreach programs with cattle ranchers to ensure the survival of jaguars in the area and help other countries monitor and do the same.
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, monkey, tapirs, capybara, turtles and fish. Sexual maturity for these animals occurs right around three years and litters of one to four young are common. Jaguars live up to 20 years in captivity.