With Arizona’s largest exotic animal collection, there are always new arrivals at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park in Litchfield Park. The park announced May 6 the birth of two spotted and one melanistic endangered jaguar cubs.
The cubs are receiving around-the-clock care by the experienced Wildlife World hand-raising team and two veterinarians inside the Baby Animal Nursery, according to a release.
The youngsters enjoy bottles of formula several times a day and over the next few weeks, they will begin the transition to include meat in their diet.
Jaguars are the largest feline found in the New World and rank third in size behind lions and tigers.
Males can grow to about 200 pounds and are known to have the strongest bite of any feline species. Their stocky build helps them climb with ease in their preferred rain-forest habitat, enabling them to stalk and ambush prey. A sizable fraction of the population is black with black spots.
Jaguars have an extensive range throughout Central and South America and were once found throughout the desert Southwest, including Arizona. Recent sightings of a male in Arizona make that jaguar the only known one of its kind in the United States, the release stated.
Jaguars, an endangered species, face an uncertain future because of habitat loss and fragmentation. Many are killed as a result of increasing human-animal conflicts over space and resources. Habitat loss and degradation along with increased poaching remain the biggest threat to feline’s survival, the release stated.
Watch the video below to see the jaguar cubs in the zoo's nursery:
The new cubs are among a plethora of new arrivals at the park, home to more than 600 species and 6,000 animals. Other “newbies” at the 100-acre park include baby warthogs, a tapir, giraffe, baby sable antelope, endangered addax and Arabian oryx.
Wildlife World’s keepers and veterinarians have raised dozens of species of wild and endangered animals over the past quarter century, the release stated.
The zoo strives to maximize genetic diversity in the zoological population with its breeding programs.
As a USDA-licensed private institution accredited by the Zoological Association of America and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums, Wildlife World does not receive taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World in its nearly 37-year history, the release stated.
The zoo, 16501 W. Northern Ave., is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with last admission is at 4:30 p.m. Aquarium hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, visit wildlifeworld.com or call 623-935-9453 or follow @ZooWildlife on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter