OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – From The City of Brotherly Love to The Big Friendly, a 6-year-old female jaguar has now joined the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden animal family.
Zia recently arrived at the OKC Zoo from the Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She will be sharing a rotational habitat with male jaguar, Tai and male Sumatran tiger, Ramah. Depending on the day, guests will have an opportunity to see one of these big cats.
OKC Zoo officials say the recommendation for Zia’s relocation came from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® for jaguars.
Once located throughout the US and Mexico, commercial hunting and severe habitat loss caused a significant loss in the cat’s population numbers. Jaguars are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as near threatened, meaning their population is continuing to decrease.
Adult jaguars can reach lengths up to 6 feet and weigh as much as 250 pounds. Jaguars are known for their beautiful spotted coats and stalking abilities. Their coat makes for impressive camouflage abilities to blend in with the shade of trees.
Jaguars are currently found through Mexico and most of South America and are the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere and third largest overall, with only tigers and lions being larger.
OKC Zoo’s Cat Forest, Lion Overlook and Oklahoma Trails are home to six species of big cats – Sumatran tigers, African lions, mountain lions, cheetahs, jaguars and clouded leopards – as well as five small cat species – caracal, serval, fishing cat, bobcat and ocelot.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.