Over the course of several months, our carnivores team has been diligently observing the behaviors of our two female jaguars Ixchel and Caipora. Both females are in their retirement years at the zoo, and until recently remained separated, swapping exhibit access or reserve yard access.
After noticing more positive behavior between both cats, conversations began about introducing the females to the same space.
“Earlier this year, we saw them attempting to groom each other through the mesh and were often seen lying next to each other with the mesh between them,” said Stephanie Kain, Tulsa Zoo Zoological Manager. “We started to talk about actually introducing them. We formulated a plan, talked about all safety measures that we would need, and put it all into place. On the scheduled day, we opened the door between them. They immediately began to play, chase, wrestle and groom each other. Within a couple of days of having supervised access to each other during the day, they were not only getting along well, but they were also napping together in the same bed.”
In the wild, jaguars mainly live a solitary life, except for mating or rearing cubs. This relationship is special.
Stephanie said, “We have seen that they prefer to be near each other most of the time but when they want some alone time, they are able to move to another space. They will continue to be fed separately but otherwise, will be housed together.”
To learn more about their exhibit in the Rainforest and others visit Tulsa Zoo Exhibits