Photos by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo
It’s getting harder to handle our growing jaguar cubs, and their 9-week exam last week was the first that required anesthesia to safely complete the brief check-ups.
To make sure each cub got the team’s full attention, we conducted the exams one at a time, carefully escorting each cub to the zoo’s mobile hospital in the back of our animal health ambulance. Here the vets completed the basics of each exam, including:
The weigh-in. The cubs are each around 15-16 pounds.
Taking measurements to make sure growth is on track.
The visual inspection, including a look at the paws, skin and fur.
And a dental inspection to see how the teeth are growing and to get a glimpse of their oral health.
After giving each cub required feline vaccinations, they were quickly returned to their behind-the-scenes home where they’d later be reunited with mom.
Of the triplets, the one male continues to be the most docile of the personalities, going with the flow of the transfer and exam without anywhere near the feistiness his sisters displayed. It will be interesting to see how those personality dynamics play out in the way the cubs interact with each other and their surroundings when they make their debut on exhibit in the near future.
What’s up next for the cubs? They’ll all be receiving their names soon, now that we have had some time to get to know their personalities. Each one of the girls will be named by a zoo donor whose support has helped bring big cats to Woodland Park Zoo. But the boy’s name will actually be chosen by jaguar dad, Junior, in a fun little enrichment we have planned later this week. Stay tuned to see what name daddy chooses!