Spirit of the Jaguar
We believe it to be the largest and best Jaguar enclosure in the world and it has a wealth of interpretation to stimulate the mind.
It considers some of the problems these magnificent cats face and highlights their importance in ethnic folklore.
The building is divided into two sections one savannah and one rainforest – we wanted our visitors to experience the Jaguar’s different habitats, and for the cats to feel at ease with their surroundings. Both sections have been landscaped and planted to be sympathetic to the different environments.
Jaguars typically weigh 80-100kg, and enjoy a life span of up to 25 years. Whilst most Jaguars have the distinctive black spotted pattern on their golden coats, there are also melanistic, black jaguars. Spirit of the Jaguar is home to both colours.
Whatever their home range, Jaguars spend a considerable amount of time on the hunt, searching for their next meal. At the zoo, we are simulating this by varying the method and time of presenting their food from day to day.
Sometimes food is dragged around to lay scent trails that lead to the meal. The food is hidden from view by a loose covering of bark or leaves. Sometimes it is pushed into a crack in the rockwork or even buried. These methods of enrichment are a vital part of the daily routine.
Chester Zoo has been supporting the Jaguar Conservation Programme since 2000 and focuses on resolving Human-Jaguar conflict which has become one of the highest priorities in global Jaguar conservation.