It’s a Boy! Philadelphia Zoo announces new Jaguar cub is a boy

(August 16, 2011) - The Philadelphia Zoo confirmed it new addition to its animal family is a boy, the jaguar cub,  named Lucha was born on June 3rd, Lucha, meaning “fight” in Spanish, was born to  Kanga, the Zoo’s 10 year old Jaguar  and her mate, Jutai, age 7 years old. Kanga has had 3 litters in the past; her other offspring are currently at zoos across the country. Lucha is the first offspring of Jutai, who was adopted by the Philadelphia Zoo after being rescued in Belize in 2007.  Lucha is the first jaguar born in First Niagara Big Cat Falls, continuing the Zoo’s successful breeding of big cats.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to participate in this very important Jaguar breeding program.  Observing the mother/cub bond developing and the daily lessons that mom is teaching the cub is quite special for the animal staff,” says Tammy Schmidt, Carnivore Curator. “We were pleased to receive this Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program breeding recommendation,” says Schmidt.  The mission of the SSP  Program is to manage and conserve a select and typically threatened or endangered, ex situ species population with the cooperation of AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Approved Non-Member Participants.

Mother and cub are doing well. Lucha has started to independently explore, actively playing.  The cub also recently showed interest in eating solid food along with nursing from mom. The Zoo expects to debut the cub to the public in the coming weeks.

Jaguars are critically endangered in the wild due to habitat destruction, conflict with humans, and poaching. The Philadelphia Zoo supports wild jaguars by partnering with conservationists in Belize to protect jaguar habitat and rescue animals that need help. For updates on the cub or to ADOPT a jaguar, log on to and follow us on