TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Tucson has a very special new resident at Reid Park Zoo -- Bella the jaguar.
She is a 10-year-old cat with a caramel-tan coat featuring black rosettes.
Guests can look for Bella in the Zoo’s South America loop. As she adjusts to her new home, she may spend time between her habitat and behind-the-scenes in her night house.
Bella comes to Tucson from Akron Zoo in Ohio, where she was born. She was selected by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan to come to Tucson. Like many people who move to Arizona from out-of-state, allergies were a factor in this jaguar’s move.
Bella has skin allergies, and the hope is that Tucson’s climate will be more comfortable for her. She will serve as an ambassador for her species, raising awareness about the challenges that jaguars are facing in the wild. Sadly, Jaguar populations are declining due to habitat loss.
“Bella is a curious cat and has investigated everything in her surroundings. She has become comfortable quickly, resting on her back and rolling around playfully, as cats big and small do,” said Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoo Operations.
Everyone can do their part to help jaguars in the wild by being informed consumers and purchasing sustainable products that prevent the need to remove wild habitats.Jaguars are typically great swimmers and excellent climbers, a skill used to ambush prey from above.
Bella has already shown this natural instinct to perch high, and Reid Park Zoo guests can look forward to seeing her show off these skills.