Just before and after Christmas, Zoo Bratislava welcomed two Jaguar cubs as part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums breeding program for this species. Both born to mother Laima, the pregnancy and successful birth was a small miracle since father Boris had initially exhibited significant aggression towards Laima.
Leading up to the birth, Zoo staff prepared a wooden birthing box lined with wool in the back of the breeding facility, away from the visitors’ area. Even though it was Laima’s first birth she managed it without complications and since the first day she was a very dedicated mother, providing excellent care for her cubs. Typical for Jaguar, she aggressively protects her cubs. During the first month after the cubs’ birth, Laima would not tolerate her keepers in the vicinity of the birthing box. In order to minimize Laima’s stress, Zoo staff kept their distance.
These outstanding images were taken by the very talented Emmanuel Keller, a frequent contributor to ZooBorns.
Many more exceptional photos below the fold.