Guapo, a 5-year-old male jaguar, leaps across the pond in his habitat at the San Diego Zoo Thursday (May 26). Following close behind is a 3-year-old female, Nindiri, who has been known to follow Guapo around wherever he goes in the exhibit.
Jaguars are solitary animals but this pair was placed together for breeding purposes. After slowly introducing the jaguars to each other off exhibit, and waiting for the female to start her breeding cycle, keepers allowed the pair to share the habitat in the Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey exhibit. Keepers observed a couple of breeding encounters while they were on exhibit for the last nine days. The pair will be separated today, at the end of Nindiri's cycle, and keepers will alternate the days each cat is on exhibit.
Jaguars are an endangered species primarily due to hunting them for their skins and loss of habitat in their native territories of North, Central and South America.