For immediate release
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Receives Holiday Present Early With Births of Two Leopard Cubs
December 02, 2013 - Jacksonville, Fl -
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is overjoyed to announce the arrival of two Amur leopard cubs. While utilizing a remote video monitoring system, the first cub was observed being born at approximately 10:30 a.m. Sat., Nov. 16 with the second following at approximately 11:15 a.m.
“We are very proud of our leopards and our animal care team who have successfully brought two more of these extremely rare cats into the world,” said Dan Maloney, deputy director of conservation and education of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
This is the third litter for the cubs’ dam (mother), Makarii, and sire (father), Nicolai. The cubs were active immediately and have since been seen nursing frequently, clearly growing stronger. Zoo staff will have their first interaction with the cubs Tues., Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. during the cubs’ primary medical exams. Media is invited to attend. Please contact Amy Hernden for further information.
This breeding pair also parented Tuffy, born in August 2011, and twins Liam and Leopold, born in May 2012. Amur leopards are managed under a Species Survival Plan (SSP) program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Through a breeding recommendation from the SSP, Tuffy was transferred to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans in January 2012, to be paired with their female to further the conservation of this highly endangered species. Liam and Leopold were transferred to the Staten Island Zoo, also based on an SSP recommendation.
In other breeding news, Madini, the Zoo’s first pregnant gorilla is doing well. Using ultrasound technology, staff are able to continuously monitor the growth of the fetus, and have observed strong movement and heartbeat. Lash, one of the Zoo’s two silverbacks, is the sire. The infant is due this spring.
About Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
For nearly a century, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. Starting in 1914 with an animal collection that consisted of one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens now has more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 plants. It has won national acclaim for its South American Range of the Jaguar exhibit and has the largest botanical garden in Northeast Florida. The Jacksonville Zoo is a non-profit organization and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). It is open year-round, seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas day and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information on the Zoo, visit http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.