JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ jaguar population grew in April, and that new, male jaguar cub is in need of a name.
The cub was born to first-time parents, Babette and Harry.
Speaking of firsts, the cub is also the first jaguar born at the Jacksonville Zoo in nearly a decade.
Have you thought of any names for him yet? Well, from June 21 to 28, members of the Jacksonville community will be invited to submit their choice of names for a $5 donation per submission here.
Because it costs more than $10,000 annually for medical exams and food for the jaguars at the zoo, the Jaguars Foundation is matching up to $10,000 in donations through the naming contest.
“The Jaguars Foundation is overjoyed to welcome a new big cat to our team here in Jacksonville,” said Jaguars Chief Community Impact Officer Whitney Meyer. “The new jaguar cub is undoubtedly one of the cutest additions to our roster, and we are proud to support the zoo in caring for him and his family in the form of a matching donation. We can’t wait to hear the name suggestions that come from our fans!”
You’ll only be able to choose a name for the jaguar cub if you make a donation. This is part of the Zoo’s mission to connect communities with wildlife and wild places.
The names that are chosen as finalists will go to a public poll in a one-day social media vote to determine the winner on Thursday, June 29.
While he isn’t in the exhibit yet, zoo staff said the cub is getting along with its mom behind the scenes.
A video stream of the cub den will be shown at the Zoo’s Range of the Jaguar exhibit, allowing visitors to follow the cub as it grows.
“We are extremely pleased with how well Babette has bonded with the new cub,” said Kelly Rouillard, Director of Marketing and Sales at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “We want to share our excitement with guests, and this naming contest is a great way for us to engage the community and bring them on the cub’s journey.”
Humans are the biggest danger to jaguar survival, and unfortunately, jaguars continue to lose habitat range to humans.
Only one male jaguar has been spotted in the wild in North America in recent years.
Jaguars are listed as “Near Threatened” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
Learn more about how the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is helping to support jaguar conservation and reducing human-to-jaguar conflicts in this blog.
Admission tickets can be purchased here.