This baby Jaguar was just born at the zoo. He needs a name.

Published on June 22, 2023 at 11:36 am

There is a new cat at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

But the baby boy jaguar doesn’t have a name, and the zoo is seeking the public’s help — plus some extra funding to provide annual medical exams and feed all the jaguars.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation has pledged up to $10,000 to match donations in a naming contest. Caring for the spotted cats costs more than $10,000 a year.

A cub comes to the zoo

The baby jaguar was born April 7 to first-time parents Babette and Harry, the first cub born at the zoo in almost 10 years since Khan, a male jaguar, in 2013. Before its public debut in the Range of the Jaguar exhibit, the baby jaguar remains in the cub den bonding with his mother, zoo officials said. But the cub will be on exhibit by mid to late July, depending on recommendations from the zoo’s animal care team.

“For now, he’s still in the den, but updated videos are being played at the exhibit for guests to follow along with his growth,” zoo spokesperson Joey Bell said.

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Naming suggestions should be submitted to before Wednesday. A donation is required for a suggestion to be considered. Zoo staff, including the jaguar care specialists, will choose the top finalists, which will go up for a free public vote June 29. The new name will be unveiled June 30.

Catali, at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. | Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

A senior cat passes

Meanwhile, zoo officials just announced that a male African lion, Catali, was “humanely euthanized due to senior-related issues.” That included advanced kidney and liver disease necessitating the administration of fluids several times to help care for his age-related conditions, zoo official said.

Catali was more than 17 at the time of his passing, which is considered geriatric for a lion, zoo officials said. He sired three cubs born in 2014.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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