Jaguar

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!

2_Red pandas Jung and Nima get into the Halloween spirit at Chester Zoo on Pumpkin Day

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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!

Continue reading "“It’s the Great Pumpkin…!”" »


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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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.

Continue reading "UPDATE: Jaguar Cub Gets His "Swagger"" »


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.

Continue reading "Jaguar Birth Announced at Ellen Trout Zoo " »


San Diego Zoo’s Jaguar Cub Needs a Name

1_SanDiegoJaguarCub_byDebbieBealsZooBorns has been following the San Diego Zoo’s Jaguar cub since he was born, to mom ‘Nindiri’, on March 12th.  Our features, “Jaguar Cub Debuts at San Diego Zoo” and “Jaguar Cub Is a Handful…and Mouthful”, were filled with adorable pics and are testimony to why the cub has become so popular.

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4_SanDiegoJaguarCub_byNancieCunninghamCaseyPhotos: Debbie Beals(1); Penny Hyde(2); Mike Wilson (3,5); Nancie Cunningham Casey (4); Neil Solomon (6)

The Zoo is asking for help in selecting a name for the amazing little cub. They have compiled a list of seven names and are encouraging fans and zoo supporters to cast their vote.

San Diego Zoo has set up a page, just for voting! Follow this link: https://srv2.shoutlet.com/service/v2/canvas_wa/5542786392f4882141000009 or check out the Zoo’s facebook page for more info and updates: https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoZoo

The Jaguar is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. It is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and it is the largest big cat in the Western Hemisphere. The Jaguar’s present range extends from the Southwestern United States, Mexico, across much of Central America, south to Paraguay and into northern Argentina.

Continue reading "San Diego Zoo’s Jaguar Cub Needs a Name" »


Jaguar Cub Is a Handful…and Mouthful

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San Diego Zoo’s photogenic Jaguar cub is proving himself to be quite the handful…and mouthful. 

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SDZooJaguar_1_Ion MoePhoto Credits: Nancy Cunningham Casey (Image 1); Debbie Beals (2); Darlene McAfee (3); Ion Moe (4)

ZooBorns introduced you to the yet-to-be-named-cub last week, with a series of adorable photos. He was born March 12th to mother, ‘Nindiri’, and he has been putting her mom-skills to the test.

The Jaguar is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. It is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and it is the largest big cat in the Western Hemisphere. The Jaguar’s present range extends from the Southwestern United States, Mexico, across much of Central America, south to Paraguay and into northern Argentina.

Unlike many other cats, Jaguars do not avoid water. They are known to be quite good swimmers. Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans. Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras, and tapirs. They sometimes climb trees to prepare an ambush, killing their prey with one powerful bite.

Most Jaguars are tan or orange, with distinctive black spots, dubbed "rosettes" because they are shaped like roses. Some Jaguars are so dark they appear to be spotless, though their markings can be seen on closer inspection.

Jaguars live alone and define territories of many square miles by marking with their waste or clawing trees.

Females have litters of one to four cubs, which are blind and helpless at birth. The mother stays with them and defends them fiercely from any animal that may approach—even their own father. Young Jaguars learn to hunt by living with their mothers for two years or more.

The Jaguar is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. The loss of parts of its range, including its virtual elimination from its historic North American areas, and the increasing fragmentation of the remaining range have contributed to this status. Jaguars are still hunted for their attractive fur. Ranchers also kill them because the cats sometimes prey upon their livestock.


Jaguar Cub Debuts at San Diego Zoo

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A three-week-old Jaguar cub made his first public appearance this weekend at the San Diego Zoo.

Born on March 12 to Nindiri, the male cub has just begun to explore the world outside his den.  The cub, who has not yet been named, is Nindiri’s third cub and weighs just under five pounds.

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Photo Credit:  Ken Bohn

The cub’s eyes are now open and he’s becoming steadier on his paws, so the zoo staff feels he is ready to safely explore the different terrain outside his den.  So far, he has navigated through piles of hay and investigated a rock – both important steps in his development.

Jaguars are the largest cats in all the Americas and are powerful predators, able to kill prey in a single strike.  Their jaws are extremely powerful, enabling them to pierce the skulls of their prey with just one bite. 

Though they are widely distributed from Mexico to Argentina (plus a very small population in southern Arizona in the United States), Jaguars are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Primary threats include loss of habitat, illegal hunting, and persecution by farmers and ranchers.