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First Photos Released Of Jaguar Cub At Jacksonville Zoo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Visitors to the Jacksonville Zoo will soon be able to see the zoo's newest jaguar in person.

One of the zoo's female jaguars gave birth to a cub at 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 1. This week, zoo officials gave the cub its first examination, and determined it is a male. They also released photos of the cub for the first time. The cub was the first one born in captivity in the U.S. this year, and the first born at the Jacksonville Zoo since April 1981. The cub's mother, Zassi, is a 4-1/2-year-old originally from Guyana, and his father, Tuco, is a 3-1/2-year-old that came from the Houston Zoo.

A celebration of the cub's birth is being planned for early March, approximately eight weeks after his birth. At that time, he and his mother will be released into the Range of the Jaguar exhibit, and the cub's name will be announced. The naming rights for any jaguars born at the Jacksonville Zoo through April of this year were sold at auction during the 2006 ExZOOberation fundraiser.

The Jacksonville Zoo now has eight jaguars, giving it the largest collection of the animals in the nation.

For more on the Range of the Jaguar exhibit, and to watch video of the jaguar cub, visit the Jacksonville Zoo's Web site.