Philadelphia Zoo Announces the Birth of a Jaguar Cub

(June 8, 2011) - The Philadelphia Zoo is pleased to welcome a new addition to its animal family. Kanga, the Zoo’s 10 year-old female jaguar, gave birth to one cub on the evening of Friday, June 3 at Jaguar Cubapproximately 10 p.m. Kanga has had 3 previous litters; her other offspring are currently at zoos across the country. These cubs are the first offspring for Jutai, the Zoo’s 7-year-old male jaguar, who came to the Philadelphia Zoo in 2007 after being rescued as an orphan in Belize. The cub is the first jaguar born in First Niagara Big Cat Falls, continuing the Zoo’s successful breeding of big cats over the past few years.
“We’re very excited to welcome Kanga’s and Jutai’s new cub, the first jaguar born at the Philadelphia Zoo in over 30 years,” says Tammy Schmidt, Carnivore Curator. “We work with the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This birth, Jutai’s first, is a significant contribution to the jaguar population in the U.S. We are cautiously optimistic and letting Kanga be the fantastic mother she is,” said Schmidt. The mission of the SSP Program is to manage populations of threatened, endangered and other species across AZA zoos, to maintain long-term genetic and demographic viability.

“We are thrilled about the news of Kanga’s healthy new cub. Visitors to the Zoo will soon have the opportunity to see one of our world’s most endangered species thrive in its new environment,” said Robert Kane, First Niagara Bank Eastern Pennsylvania Regional President. “First Niagara is proud to be aligned with such a mission-driven organization that is leading the way in conservation efforts.”

Mother and cub are doing well. Like newborn humans, jaguar cubs are essentially helpless, relying on their mother for care. Kanga has been in constant physical contact with her cub since birth, caring for and feeding it. The first 72 hours of the cub’s life are the most critical and monitored closely by the Zoo’s animal and veterinary staff. The jaguar cub public debut is still to be confirmed, but will not occur for approximately 3 months. In the meantime, Zoo visitors can get within inches of the Zoo’s other baby animals, including an orangutan, a gibbon, a giraffe and more, during June Baby Boom.
Jaguars are threatened in the wild due to habitat destruction, conflict with humans, and poaching. The Philadelphia Zoo supports wild jaguars by partnering with conservationists in Belize to protect jaguar habitat and rescue animals that need help.

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