The Fort Worth Zoo is announcing the birth of another baby at the zoo -- this time a female jaguar cub named Sasha.
Sasha, born July 16, is the sixth jaguar cub born at the zoo since 2001. At birth, she weighed 2 pounds and immediately began nursing and bonding with her mother, 4-year-old Xochi, zoo officials said in a news release.
Xochi and Sasha lived in a private area away from the exhibit for the first few weeks of the cubs life. She has now grown to a size of nearly 14 lbs and can be seen exploring her habitat, the exhibit in the Brush Country area of Texas Wild!
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The Fort Worth Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Jaguar Species Survival Plan (SSP). Sasha will stay with her mother at the Fort Worth Zoo until she is about 2 years old, after which she'll be moved to another AZA zoo to "maintain genetic diversity within the species."
“The Fort Worth Zoo has had a very successful history breeding jaguars,” said Ron Surratt, Fort Worth Zoo director of animal collections. “Our participation in the Jaguar SSP has helped ensure guests will be able to enjoy jaguars for years to come as we continue to contribute to the survival of the species.”
Sasha is the eighth jaguar born in an AZA zoo born this year.
The jaguar, according to the Fort Worth Zoo, "is the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere (third largest in the world behind lions and tigers) and represents the only “big cat” found in the New World. The jaguar is historically native to the southern United States. Due to habitat alteration, the jaguar can now be found from the U.S./Mexico border south into Central America."