(KTXL) — A jaguar will be living at the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens after being transferred from the Sacramento Zoo.
It will be the first time a jaguar will reside at the San Francisco Zoo in 24 years, according to a news release from the zoo.
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The jaguar will temporarily live in a habitat adjacent to the zoo’s lion house while a permanent habitat is constructed.
“Jaguars are the iconic cat of the Americas, and we are honored to share the story of this near-threatened species whose challenges include habitat loss, hunting and poaching,” said Tanya M. Peterson, CEO of the San Franciso Zoological Society in a statement.
“Jaguars once scaled all of the Americas, from South to North America, and we hope his arrival will educate Zoo visitors about saving his species before it is too late.”
The 11-year-old male jaguar resided at the Sacramento Zoo since 2012 after being born at the San Diego Zoo.
The jaguar will also get a new name this summer, the San Francisco Zoo said.
The zoo said its jaguar shares his species’ muscular build and has dark “rosettes” or spots that help it to blend into its natural environment.
The jaguar was placed at the Sacramento Zoo per a recommendation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Jaguar Species Survival Plan.
The species survival plan is a collaboration between zoos and aquariums to maintain genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of animals living in captivity.
The jaguar is the largest big cat of the Americas, weighing at 125 pounds, and are the third largest in the world behind lions and tigers, according to the zoo.
Jaguars are native to Central and South America and parts of Mexico, and the southwestern United States.
The species typically lives in habitats that are in tropical rainforests, swamps, grasslands and scrubland.
“Jaguars’ elusiveness makes them difficult to study and see in the wild,” Peterson said. “I anticipate that all zoo visitors, from the most experience to our youngest, will enjoy seeing and studying this species in person.”