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Welcoming new babies to the zoo!

The Brevard County Zoo recently announced some new additions:  two brand new jaguar cubs!  Although zoo officials cannot yet determine the gender of either cub, they say that so far, these cubs appear to be healthy and the mom seems to be taking very good care of them.

The fourth litter born to 11-year old mom Masaya, their birth was captured on video installed in her den, which might be released to the public at some point in the future.  Daddy is 14-year old Mulac.  He is a first time daddy with this birth and is being kept in another den for now.

* In honor of the event, here are a few fun jaguar facts for you!

* Jaguars are the largest cats in the Americas and the third largest cat in the world.

* They have dark spots over top a yellow or orange coat. Their spots are called rosettes simply because they are shaped liked roses.

* Although once found along the southern coast of the United States (including Florida), these animals can now only be found very rarely in the wild in Texas and Arizona.

* Outside of the United States, they are most often found in swampy areas or in rainforests.

* Jaguars must live in an area with a natural source of fresh water.

* Adult jaguars can grow up to 7 feet long and can weigh up to 225 pounds.

* Baby jaguars are called cubs and cannot open their eyes or see anything for the first two weeks after birth.

* Jaguars are ferocious predators and can take on rather large animals when in search of a meal. Wild jaguars may go after deer, frogs, fish, alligators, and when desperate, may even go after domesticated livestock.

* Jaguars also like to fish! They will dip their tail into the water in order to lure the fish over to them.

* These animals are quite the loner. Although they will get together in order to mate or care for their cubs, they usually spend their life by themselves.

* Jaguars like to stay in one range and are very territorial. They mark their territory with urine, but their territory can be up to 50 miles wide.

* Due to poaching and the destruction of natural habitats, the Jaguar is considered a threatened animal. It is estimated only 15,000 wild Jaguars are left.

* They are named after the Native American word yakuar which means “he who kills in a single bound.”

* The jaguar only has one natural predator:   They are hunted primarily for their fur.

17 Mar

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