By  //  February 4, 2013

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New Cub Born Jan. 26

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – There’s not a name yet for the Brevard Zoo’s new baby jaguar and its gender won’t be known for a while, but mother and cub are resting comfortably, according to zookeepers.  

A yet-to-be-named jaguar cub was born Jan. 26 at the Brevard Zoo. (Image courtesy of Brevard Zoo)

The baby jaguar cub was born Jan. 26 to the zoo’s jaguar mother Masaya and father LeBron.

Jaguars do not have a set mating season, therefore can mate and reproduce at any time throughout the year.

The cubs are helpless and blind at first and live with their mother for about two years.

The zoo reports that the new baby jaguar is doing well and bonding nicely with its mother.

It will be a couple of months before the cub is placed on exhibit, but Masaya continues to demonstrate that she is an attentive mother to this new arrival.

As of Jan. 30, the cub weighed 1.35 kilograms.

“I feel so fortunate to be able to work with Masaya and LeBron, the breeding pair. It isn’t easy to introduce a male and female jaguar,” said Kerry Sweeney, a curator at Brevard Zoo. “The staff did an excellent job in 2010 when these two jaguars met, creating a comfortable environment for the pair.”

Masaya, gave birth to her first cub, Nindiri, in June 2007. She later had two male cubs, Jean and Phil, in September 2008.

Nindiri was sent to the San Diego Zoo in June 2008 to be paired with a male jaguar as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Nindiri gave birth to two cubs at the San Diego Zoo in April 2012.

Masaya’s two male cubs, Jean and Phil, were sent to the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park in January 2010.

As of two years ago there were 55 jaguars (23 males; 32 females) at 26 zoos in America.

The target population size as 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 and it has contributed more than $18,800 in grants to support jaguars in the wild.

It’s estimated that jaguars have lost nearly 50 percent of their home range in the last 10 years. 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 about three years of age and litters of one to four young are common.

Jaguars can live up to 20 years in captivity.