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Baby jaguars debut at Brevard Zoo – Florida

BY CHRIS KRIDLER • FLORIDA TODAY • October 21, 2008

Two jaguars were born at Brevard Zoo on Sept. 29, the zoo announced today.

The two cubs are the second litter for Masaya, who had a girl, Nindiri, in June 2007. Nindiri now lives at the San Diego Zoo, as part of a breeding program to increase the number of jaguars in the managed population. Last year, there were just 44.

It’s not yet clear if the baby jaguars are males or females, but they’re doing well, according to zoo officials.

The cubs weigh about 5 pounds each and are gaining more than a pound a week, animal curator Michael Magaw said in the zoo’s press release. “They are quite active and vocal even at this early age,” he said.

The cubs won’t be seen by the public until mid- to late November. For now, mother Masaya is understandably protective.

“It’s really only two keepers she’ll let nearby, and then Michael,” marketing director Andrea Hill said.

The zoo’s most recently unveiled baby is a Visayan warty piglet. The striped tyke started scampering around her enclosure with her mother last week.

It’s a busy time for the zoo, which had record attendance Saturday for the first weekend of Boo at the Zoo, with 2300 people, compared with the usual 1500.

The addition of theatrical performances and other enhancements helps explain the allure, Hill said.

“It was great. Everyone raved about the new performances. It was just fun for everyone. Everyone was positive.”

Boo at the Zoo concludes this Friday through Sunday. See the accompanying box for details on the evening event.

Contact Kridler at 242-3633 or ckridler@floridatoday.com.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20081021/BREAKINGNEWS/81021023

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