Arts & Culture
1:03 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

What A Cutie: Meet Baby Sasha, A Jaguar Cub, At The Fort Worth Zoo

Meet the newest resident of the Fort Worth Zoo – Sasha, a female jaguar cub.

She was born July 16, although zoo officials just announced her arrival last week. She weighed in at 2 pounds and began bonding with her mommy – Xochi.

Xochi is rather protective. After giving birth, she cared for Sasha in a private area that mimics natural jaguar behavior in the wild, zoo officials said.

Sasha now weighs 13.75 pounds and can be seen in the zoo’s Texas Wild! exhibit. She’s the sixth jaguar cub born since Texas Wild! Opened in 2001.

Here’s some video of Sasha hanging out with her mom:

By the way, last month the zoo announced that more than 1 million guests had visited this year. The zoo has received at least 1 million visitors annually since 1991, when the Fort Worth Zoological Association assumed private management.

There’s a baby boom at local zoos. In August, the Fort Worth Zoo announced the birth of Bowie, a nearly 230-pound male Asian elephant calf. He is the third calf born at the zoo, arriving 30 days after zoo officials welcomed a female calf, Belle. The Dallas Zoo last month announced the arrival of two cute baby cheetahs, Winspear and Kamau.

Did you know?

The Fort Worth Zoo offers these fun facts about jaguars:

  • Jaguars give birth to a litter of one to four cubs after a gestation period of 95 to 110 days.
  • Cubs nurse for about six months and are usually introduced to meat around 3 months old.
  • Cubs are born with heavily spotted, dense, wooly fur, which transforms into adult coloration by 7 months old.
  • A jaguar’s marked coat acts as camouflage, making it almost invisible in its desert and forest surroundings. Jaguars can grow to be 6 feet long and weigh between 100 to 250 pounds.
  • In the wild, a jaguar cub is dependent on its mother for protection from predators, for food and guidance until it’s about 2 years old. Sasha will stay at the Fort Worth Zoo for the next 12 to 18 months and then be moved to another zoo to help maintain genetic diversity within the species.
  • The jaguar is the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere. It’s the third largest in the world behind lions and tigers. The jaguar is historically native to the southern United States. The jaguar can now be found from the U.S./Mexico border south into Central America.

The Fort Worth Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Jaguar Species Survival Plan, a breeding program that maintains a healthy population of vulnerable animals to help prevent their extinction.