A young male jaguar peeks at the outdoors as his mother stands by in this photo released yesterday (June 19) by the San Diego Zoo.
At more than a month old, the male and female jaguar cubs born to mother Nindiri are ready to spend some time in their large outdoor habitat at the zoo. For the last two months, the siblings have been visible in the cave area at the Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey that serves as their den. Yesterday, animal care staff opened the door of this area, giving mom and her two cubs access to the exhibit, which has grass, climbing structures and lots of things to play with for two active little cubs.
The move to an outdoor area is a big one for the little jaguars, which were born on April 26, a zoo statement said. They are taking their time, getting comfortable with the new smells and sounds as they carefully venture out.
Unfortunately, demand for the jaguar's beautiful rosette-covered fur is one of the reasons this species is endangered. In addition, loss of habitat and the human-animal conflict have reduced populations of jaguars throughout their range from North America through South America.