LeBron the Jaguar Moving To Louisville Zoo
By Space Coast Daily // August 9, 2013
zoo will bring in another male jaguar
ABOVE VIDEO: LeBron will be missed at the Brevard Zoo, but will continues to house and exhibit Masaya and her son, Saban. The Brevard Zoo, through its “Quarters for Conservation” program, continues to support efforts to preserve jaguars.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — LeBron, the massive and beautiful male jaguar at Brevard Zoo, is heading north to the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) national breeding program.
LeBron came to the Zoo from the Akron Zoo in Ohio three years ago. Earlier this year, he fathered his first offspring with the Zoo’s female jaguar, Masaya.
“AZA institutions collectively manage rare species, like jaguars, to ensure genetically healthy populations,” said Kerry Sweeney, animal curator at Brevard Zoo.
“It’s like computer dating for wildlife. The Jaguar Species Survival Plan recommended that we send LeBron to the Louisville Zoo and then we (Brevard Zoo) will bring in another male jaguar in order to increase the genetic diversity of the captive jaguar population.”
While LeBron will be missed, the Brevard Zoo continues to house and exhibit Masaya and her son (with LeBron), Saban. Brevard Zoo, through its Quarters for Conservation program, continues to support efforts to preserve jaguars.
“Even though he is moving north, he remains a fan favorite among guests and zoo keepers alike.”
SUPPORT JAGUARS IN THE WILD
To date, the Zoo has contributed more than $18,800 in grants to support jaguars in the wild. It is estimated that jaguars have lost nearly 50 percent of their home range in the last 10 years.
Also, 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.
For more information visit BreavrdZoo.com