Animal care staff at Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo are thrilled to welcome two new residents to the facility— a jaguar pair, “Mick Jaguar” and “Black Betty.”
The duo, who made their public debut last week, are busy exploring their new home. Their exhibit is equipped with two waterfalls and a running river for these water-loving cats, as well as platforms at various heights to engage the animals in their natural climbing behaviors.
“The construction of this habitat was crucial,” says Hannah Mulligan, Deputy Director. “The exhibit is designed to meet the specific needs and natural behavior of the species.”
The jaguar is the largest of the New World cats— out of all big cats, only the lion and tiger are larger. Males are usually larger than females and may weigh as much as 250 pounds. Their normal coat is spotted and ranges from light yellow to orange, although there are also black jaguars. Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo houses one of each color variation.
Currently, there are less than 200 jaguars in zoos worldwide and a decreasing population in the wild due to habitat loss. With the new exhibit and its enhancements, Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo plans to implement a breeding program to help manage and stabilize the population of this near-threatened species.
The new exhibit is open to the public. Jaguars can be visited on display during regular business hours.