Visitor & Tickets
Animals & Exhibits
Learning Adventures
ANIMAL
OF THE WEEK
The lower mandible of the eastern white pelicanís beak is flexible and has a large pouch attached to it. read more >

Jaguar

Scientific name: Panthera onca


CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Carnivora
FAMILY: Felidae

FEEDING TYPE: Carnivore
STATS: Length: 4-6 ft., Weight: 125-225 lbs.
 

DESCRIPTION:
The jaguar’s broad head and powerful body is a tawny yellow color, with dark spots on the head, neck and legs. The rest of the body is covered with circles with one or more dots in the middle. These spots are called rosettes. Some animals are black instead of tawny yellow, but spots on these animals can still be seen.

RANGE:
Central and South America, and Mexico

HABITAT:
Dense brushes, forest, and swamps

ADAPTATIONS:

  • The jaguar is a very solitary animal, and is seldom seen interacting with other jaguars at any time other than mating season.
  • The jaguar will primarily stay on land, although it is an excellent swimmer.
  • It communicates through various vocal sounds and the jaguar will use its scent (urine) to mark its territory.
  • Jaguars, like most predators, have excellent eye sight and can hear extremely well.
  • This cat has been seen hunting in both the daylight and the night, with its diet ranging from the larger rodent, capybara, to fish. The jaguar has developed the hunting skill of biting its prey through the temporal bones of the skull and killing it more quickly.

REPRODUCTION / GROWTH:
After fertilization, the gestation period is generally 95 to 110 days. The jaguar will have one to four cubs with the general birth weight being around 1.5 to 2 pounds. Juveniles will stay with the mother for up to three years.

PREY / PREDATOR:
Prey to: Humans / Predator to: the capybara, deer, pigs, sloth, fish, and small alligators turtles, and tapirs.

WILD DIET:
Deer, pigs, and other animals of nutritious value.

STATUS:
Listed as near threatened by IUCN and Appendix I with CITES due to habitat destruction, game hunting and poaching.

SPECIAL NOTES:

  • During the 1960's and 1970's, around 18,000 jaguars were killed every year due to poaching for the fur trade. Today the major threat for jaguars is that of deforestation.


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Mares, Michael. A Desert Calling. 2002.
  2. Nowak, Ronald M. Walker’s Mammals of the World: Volume II; John Hopkins University Press, 1991 p914
  3. IUCN Red List June 5, 2008
     

 Published: July 2008

Want to learn more about animals?

Check out our Learning Adventures for newborn to 99.

Hours of Operation
Summer Hours8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning March 1)
Winter Hours10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning November 1)
Open 364 Days a Year!*
*The Zoo will be closed one day only, September 6, 2014 to facilitate the preparation of the annual Zoo fundraiser, Zoobilee. For Zoobilee ticket information please call 266-8APE (8273).
E-NEWSLETTER SIGNUP