The Jaguar is the third largest cat in the world after the Tiger and Lion. Large males have been recorded with a weight of up to 158 kg (350 lb). Individual animals get larger from North to South across their range. They are solitary and territorial.

The present range is from Mexico through Central America as far south as Argentina. Individual animals have been reported in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It prefers dense rainforest but also inhabits other forests and open terrains.

The Spotted Jaguar also has a near black melanistic form which occurs regularly in about 6% of the population. The spots are still visible on these animals when seen in the right light.

Jaguars are an apex predator. Studies have shown though they prefer to take large prey, they eat a total of 87 different species of vertebrates. They have a unique method of dispatching prey by biting through the skull.

Jaguar @ Safari Niagara

  • There are two Spotted Jaguars living at Safari Niagara, named Bella and Belki.
  • Our Spotted Jaguars can be found in the Silent Forest.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivera
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. onca

Did you know?

  • There have been recent sightings of individual Jaguars in Arizona.
  • One of the unintended consequences of building a border fence between Mexico and the United States will be to cut off any flow of genetic diversity northward from Mexico.
  • This could ultimately extirpate the animal again from the U.S.