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Cute Alert! Baby Jaguars Born at San Diego Zoo

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Taken May 9, 2012, a jaguar cub gets a weigh-in. (Image credit: © Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo.)

The San Diego Zoo recently welcomed two bundles of cuteness in the form of twin jaguar cubs born on April 27, the first jaguars born at the zoo since 1989.

One of the 12-day-old cubs recently took a turn on a zoo scale during a check-up.

This tiny cub, which weighs 4.2 pounds (2 kilograms), is still too young to get on and off the scale on its own. The two unnamed siblings will remain in the den for a couple of months until they are able to walk outdoors on their own. Keepers have yet to determine the sex of the cubs.

Although these two young cubs may look adorable, females can grow to 70 pounds (32 kg) while males can reach 120 pounds (54 kg). Jaguars are the largest of the big cats that live in the Western Hemisphere and the third largest any cat in the world. The South American native word for jaguar, yaguara, means "animal that kills in a single bound."

Demand for the jaguar's beautiful spotted fur is one of the reasons this species is an endangered species. In addition, loss of habitat and the human-animal conflict have reduced populations of jaguars throughout their range from North America through South America.

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Live Science Staff
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.