PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS, CA — (February 8, 2017) — The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is thrilled to announce the birth of a jaguar cub, the newest addition to the zoo, born January 26 to mother, Magia, and father, Memo.
Animal care experts had been on maternity watch since early January, awaiting a possible birth. In preparation, the jaguar den was arranged in the off-exhibit area and was made complete with installation of a new jaguar cam. Staff have been able to closely monitor Magia and her cub’s development, and now the public can join in the viewing too. The live jag cam can be viewed atLivingDesert.org/JagCam.
“Animal births are always exciting and we are happy to see that Magia and her cub are doing so well. It has been such a unique opportunity to see her bonding with and nurturing her cub through our new jag cam,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “And, we are delighted to be able to offer the public the chance to see Magia and her cub though this behind-the-scenes viewing opportunity on our website.”
Later this week, animal care and veterinary staff have plans for a well-baby exam– assessing its weight, sex and development. In the coming weeks, a comprehensive medical exam including vaccinations will be scheduled for the cub.
“Magia has proven to be a great mother. We continue to be cautiously optimistic through the first couple of weeks of development and look forward to the public being able to see the cub and Magia online now and on exhibit in the coming months,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Programs. “Memo and Magia were brought together by a recommendation of the Species Survival Plan, an international cooperative conservation program, and this birth will help contribute to the future of the species.”
This is Magia’s second litter; the first, twin boys, Rico and Tesoro, were born April 27, 2014 at The Living Desert. Seven year-old mom, Magia, came to the Living Desert in March 2011 from Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX; and six year-old dad, Memo, came to The Living Desert in April 2013 from Parque Summit in Panama.
A Facebook LIVE gender reveal event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, February 11 – guests are encouraged to visit the park or join online. Attendees at the zoo’s upcoming Zoobilee Gala, to be held on Saturday, March 4, will have the opportunity to name the cub as part of the live auction, with all proceeds benefitting The Living Desert’s education and conservation programs.
Jaguars are the largest native cat to the Americas, and the only “roaring” cat in North America. Their present range extends from the Southwestern United States and Mexico into Central and South America. Currently listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as Near Threatened, their main threats are habitat loss and fragmentation of wild areas along with human persecution. Identified by their rosette style spots, jaguars are a solitary animal weighing between 100 to 250 pounds. The gestation period for jaguars lasts between 90-110 days, with the cubs staying with mom for up to two years.
Magia and the cub will be off-exhibit for a couple months; however, visitors to The Living Desert will see Memo on exhibit and receive cub updates during the daily 9:30 a.m. jaguar keeper chat.
The Living Desert is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about upcoming events and activities, visit livingdesert.org or call (760) 346-5694.