Meet Nacho & Libre

Animal Details

Common Name
Scientific Name
Panthera onca
Near Threatened
Life Span
12 - 15 Years

Meet The Animal

Jaguars are the only big cat in North and South America and are the third largest species of cat in the world behind Tigers and Lions. A major distinction between the big cat family and the small cat family is that big cats can’t purr but can roar, and small cats can’t roar but purr. A jaguar’s coat can be one of two distinct color morphs. The most commonly seen is the yellow “spotted” coat. The black coat is more common in the thick jungles near the equator and is caused by a high amount of melanin, hence the term “melanistic.” Melanistic jaguars still have rosettes like their spotted friends, but they are much more difficult to see. Our jaguar, Nacho, is a melanistic Jaguar, whereas Libre, Nacho’s brother, is spotted.

Their Behavior

Jaguars are ambush predators and spend a decent amount of time in trees. Unlike most predators that take down prey with a bite to the neck, jaguars use a bite to the back of the head. Their jaw strength is enough that they can actually pierce the skull.

Did You Know?

The term Panther is a slang term often used to refer to any black cat within the Panthera genus including jaguars and leopards.

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