Zookeepers at The Living Desert have confirmed that Magia, the four-year-old Jaguar, has given birth to two cubs, announced Allen Monroe, President/CEO, The Living Desert.
In preparation for her maternity, a darkened den was constructed between the off-exhibit yard and the inside holding stall. During maternity watch, only the jaguar’s two primary zookeepers were allowed to enter the holding area to provide food and water.
“It’s extremely important that Magia feel safe. If she feels threatened, she may abandon or harm her cubs,” said Monroe. “Since April 26th, Magia has been in her specially built den, only giving zookeepers quick glimpses of her cubs through a small peephole.”
In the coming weeks, Magia will be temporarily moved out of the den so a zookeeper can quickly and safely enter to assess the weight and sex of the cubs. In another month, the offspring will be removed for a comprehensive medical examination and vaccinations.
“We are being very cautious with this ‘first time’ mother and want to give her the time she needs before we allow staff near,” said Monroe.
The name Jaguar comes from the Native American word “yaguar” which means “he who kills with one leap.” They are the largest carnivorous mammals in the Americas and the third largest feline species after the tiger and lion. Unlike most big cats, jaguars love the water and often swim and bathe, play and hunt in streams.
A few intriguing facts about the world of Jaguars:
· A baby jaguar is called a cub.
· Litter size usually ranges between one and four cubs with two being the most common.
· Baby jaguars weigh about one and a half to two pounds at birth.
· Jaguar cubs are born blind and gain sight after two weeks.
· Jaguar mothers will not tolerate the presence of males after birth due to the risk of infanticide (killing of offspring), which is also common in tigers.
· Cubs are weaned at three months.
· Jaguars have no formal breeding seasons.
Magia and the male, Memo, were recently celebrated at The Living Desert’s annual Zoobilee Gala, a fundraising event that highlighted their dramatic history. The Living Desert will continue to keep the public informed on the latest with Magia and Memo and their new cubs.
“These two jaguars were brought together as part of the Species Survival Plan and it is great to see this success,” said Monroe. “Although it will be several months before the cubs are allowed out into the exhibit, we will have baby pictures on our website.”
The Living Desert is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last admission at 4 p.m. General admission is $17.25 Adults; $15.75 Seniors and Military; $8.75 Children 3-12; Children under 3 Free.
About The Living Desert:
The Living Desert is an AZA-accredited zoo and gardens that is dedicated to conservation and education. It is a family-friendly place to explore nature and create meaningful experiences for guests that are remembered for a lifetime. For more information: (760) 346-5694 or visit www.LivingDesert.org. The Living Desert is located at: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260.