San Antonio Zoo welcomes new jaguar Frida, cubs may be coming soon

Frida, a two-year-old jaguar, is the newest face at San Antonio Zoo. She was transferred from Memphis Zoo to San Antonio as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquarium's (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP).

San Antonio is aiming to have Frida eventually breed with the zoo's male jaguar, B'alam. 

Jaguars are considered a near-threatened species. This means jaguars are close to the threatened thresholds, or would be threatened without ongoing conservation measures, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Jaguars are given this consideration due to habitat loss. There are currently more than 100 jaguars in North American-accredited AZA zoos, while it is estimated that 10,000 jaguars currently reside in the wild.

The zoo says the addition of Frida will provide zoo guests with another opportunity to appreciate this near-threatened species.

Frida's new home is in NEOTROPICA, a recently renovated and expanded habitat that the zoo says Frida is already getting to know and explore. 

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Frida exploring her new habitat at San Antonio Zoo. (San Antonio Zoo)

"We are thrilled about Frida's arrival," said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of San Antonio Zoo. "We hope she loves her new home in NEOTROPICA with the recent addition of Pantera Walk (Presented by Texas A&M University-San Antonio). We encourage the community to visit and give her a personal welcome to San Antonio and the zoo. Fingers crossed that we have little jaguar cubs in our future."

Pantera Walk is a first-of-its-kind jaguar skywalk that the zoo finished just months ago. It provides the jaguars 120% more room to roam and mimics terrain options that closely match their native surroundings, says the zoo. 

The zoo welcomed a pair of jaguar cubs to parents Arizona and B'alam in September 2016. This was the first jaguar birth at the San Antonio Zoo since 1974. Arizona is being transferred to Memphis Zoo as part of the SSP program. 

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Jaguar cubs at San Antonio Zoo (San Antonio Zoo)

According to AZA, the Species Survival Plan functions to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically stable population for the long-term future. Each SSP Program manages the breeding of a select species or sub-species by collaborating with the AZA Population Management Center, Reproductive Management Center, Program Leaders, and Institutional Representatives from each participating institution to develop an SSP Breeding and Transfer Plan. There are currently around 500 SSP Programs within AZA. 

San Antonio Zoo says it is proud to play an essential role in the worldwide conservation of jaguars and all animals. For more information on the zoo's role in conservation, click here

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