Meet Banks: Jacksonville Zoo’s newest Jaguar cub has a name

New jaguar cub and his mother, Babette. (Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The latest addition to join the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has officially received a name.

The cub, which was born to first-time parents, Babette and Harry, is named Banks after the zoo invited the community to participate in the “Name That Jag” fundraiser contest that cost $5 per submission — an initiative that represents the zoo’s mission to connect communities with wildlife and wild place.

Banks was one of the four names chosen by zoo staff and the cub’s care specialists. It pays homage to the St. Johns River and the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The name won first place with 2,185 votes. Zuco (ZOO-CO), which was a combination of the cub’s paternal grandparents’ names, Zassi and Tuco, fell right behind it with 2,174 votes.

The contest began on June 21 and raised nearly $11,500 in donations from 700 submissions.

It costs over $10,000 to provide annual medical exams and food for the jaguars at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and to support Jacksonville’s newest jaguar, the Jaguars Foundation agreed to match up to $10,000 in donations through the naming contest, bringing the total funds raised to $21,494.

Banks was born on April 7 and isn’t quite ready for his debut at the exhibit, but in the meantime, he’s enjoying bonding with his mother.