Status Low Risk
Diet Carnivore
To unlock the jaguar in challenge or campaign games, you must earn a 2-star zoo fame rating for your zoo.


  • The jaguar is largest and most powerful of the American members of the cat family. The jaguar is found from the southern United States to northern Argentina, but it is especially abundant in the dense forests of Central America and Brazil. A mature jaguar is 112 to 185 cm (44 to 73 in) long, not including the tail, which is 45 to 75 cm (18 to 30 in) in length, and stands 60 cm (2 ft) high at the shoulder. Its coat is a rich yellow to rusty-red, and occasionally black, spotted with large black rosettes, each consisting of a circle of spots surrounding a central spot. The head and body are massive, and the legs are relatively short and thick. An adept climber and an excellent swimmer, the animal feeds on a wide range of arboreal, terrestrial, and aquatic animals. Although feared, the jaguar rarely attacks humans. In the pre-Columbian civilizations of Peru and Central America, it was worshiped as a god. Today the jaguar is extensively hunted because of ranchers' claims that it attacks cattle, although studies indicate that such attacks are infrequent.
  • Jaguars appear to mate in any season, although in some areas they may mate seasonally. After a gestation period of 93 to 105 days, the female bears one to four cubs, which remain with the mother until about the age of two. Jaguars have lived up to 22 years in captivity.

Fun Facts

  • A jaguar sleeps an average of 10 hours per day.
  • Early South American cultures worshiped the jaguar as a god.
  • The jaguar's diet includes otters, turtles, frogs, alligators, and fish.
  • With their short, sturdy legs, jaguars prefer to ambush rather than outrun their prey.
  • Jaguars are good climbers who like to hunt in trees, with mostly monkeys as their prey.
  • The word jaguar comes from a Native American word meaning "killer that takes its prey in a single bound."
  • Jaguars are strong swimmers, and will follow their prey into water during a pursuit.
  • While most big cats kill by biting the neck or throat, the jaguar often bites through the skull.
  • Some Amazon Indians claim that the jaguar uses its tail as bait when catching fish.

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