Adults weigh on average 80 to 250 pounds although there have been records of males weighing 347 pounds. They measure about 6 feet long plus a 30” tail and about 30 inches at the shoulder. They are the largest cat in the Americas. The coat is a tawny yellow with spots on the head, neck and legs and rosettes on the rest of the body. There are also melanistic, or black, individuals. These individuals also have spots and rosettes which are more visible in bright light.
Jaguars are one of the rarest big cats and very difficult to study in their native habitat. They are mainly nocturnal hunters, hunting mostly on the ground; however, they will occasionally sit in a tree to ambush their prey. They will sometimes drag their prey up into a tree to protect it from scavengers.
Unlike most large cats, they do not kill their prey by biting at the neck. Instead, they have amazingly powerful jaws that allow them to kill their prey with one bite through the temporal bones of the skull.
Jaguars are extremely solitary animals. They will avoid face-to-face confrontation by marking their territory with scratch marks, scat and urine scents on trees. An occasional fight can occur between males battling over territory. They come together only to mate. The male leaves shortly after mating and the females raise their young on their own.
Jaguar at the Akron Zoo
The jaguar at the Akron Zoo resides in the Legends of the Wild area.
- Milan – female, born on Sept. 6, 2016