68ºF

Two newborn jaguar cubs debut inside Brevard Zoo den

Pair of jaguar cubs had their first vet exam this week

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Two fuzzy jaguar cubs were born last week at Brevard Zoo, and the pint-sized felines were deemed healthy during their first veterinary exams Wednesday.

The unnamed cubs were born to their 11-year-old mother, Masaya, and 13-year-old father, Mulac. According to Local 6 news partner Florida Today, the cubs' sexes remain a mystery.

"Masaya has been a great mom. It's awesome that she had two, so we're looking forward to them getting a little more rambunctious as they grow," said Andrea Hill, marketing director.

The jaguar births come on the heels of the loss of one of Brevard Zoo's great cats. Zookeepers euthanized Zinga, a 10-year-old female South African cheetah, last month after she underwent unsuccessful surgery for a colon problem.

This is Masaya's fourth litter of cubs. Her first cub, Nindiri, resides at the San Diego Zoo. Subsequent cubs Phil and Jean live at the Chattanooga Zoo, and Saban lives at the Jacksonville Zoo.

Zoo officials installed a video camera in Masaya's den box, and Hill said they captured footage of her giving birth.

"She's very comfortable with our keepers. Mulac will stay out on exhibit — they're separated now. It'll be a while for mom and cubs to come out on exhibit," Hill said.

Mulac had never sired cubs, so his genes are now represented in the captive jaguar population. As of 2010, there were 55 jaguars — 23 males and 32 females — living at 26 zoological institutions, stated Olivia Wiggins, marketing communications coordinator.

Hill said Brevard Zoo may share live feeds from Masaya's "jaguar cam" with the public.