Brevard Zoo’s Jaguar Saban Heads To Jacksonville Zoo
By Space Coast Daily // April 1, 2014
saben is the youngest jaguar at the brevard zoo
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Saban, the young, robust and vocal male jaguar who has captured the hearts of all who have worked with him at Brevard Zoo, will be heading north to Jacksonville Zoo on April 2 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Jaguar Species Survival Plan (SSP).
Saban was born at the Zoo on Jan. 26, 2013 to mom, Masaya and dad, LeBron, who was transferred to Louisville Zoo late last year. Judy Piersall and David Soper won Saban’s naming rights after making a generous donation during Safari Under the Stars on April 27, 2013.
“It has been exciting to watch Saban grow to be so playful and energetic like his father, LeBron,” said Kathleen Milk, La Selva area manager who oversees Brevard Zoo’s jaguar husbandry programs.
Brevard Zoo is moving Saban to wean him from Masaya. Due to his young age, the SSP manager has yet to identify a female in the captive population to pair him with. Jacksonville Zoo is holding Saban until a recommendation is made to either have him remain there or move him to another AZA facility.
SABEN IS THE YOUNGEST JAGUAR AT THE BREVARD ZOO
The move will allow an unrelated adult male to be moved into the exhibit and introduced to Masaya. Mulac, a male jaguar from Sacramento Zoo, is already on grounds at Brevard Zoo and will meet Masaya soon after Saban leaves.
The last published SSP or jaguar captive management plan (2010) noted there were 55 jaguars (23 males; 32 females) at 26 zoological institutions. The target population size designated by the Felid Taxon Advisory Group, the group designated with overseeing captive felines in AZA facilities, is 120.
Brevard Zoo, through its Quarters for Conservation program, continues to support efforts to preserve jaguars in the wild. To date, the Zoo has contributed more than $18,800 in grants to support jaguars in the wild. From September to December 2014, the Zoo will again be supporting a jaguar project and continuing to raise funds and awareness for this beautiful and endangered animal.
It is estimated that jaguars have lost nearly 50 percent of their home range in the last 10 years. And, since jaguars do not live in large populations and are constantly on the move, it is difficult to ascertain reliable population data.
Jaguars are found in the dense forests and swampy grasslands of Central and South America. Known for swimming and climbing, jaguars are carnivores and hunt deer, monkeys, tapirs, capybara, turtles and fish.
Sexual maturity for these animals occurs at approximately three years of age and litters of one to four young are common. Jaguars can live up to 20 years in captivity.