The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is honoring Muchacho, its male patriarch jaguar, for his milestone 20th birthday on Saturday, January 25, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with “Muchacho’s Birthday Bash.” The jaguar’s actual 20th birthday falls on Friday, January 24, 2014, and the Zoo is proud of not only his longevity, but the testimony this sends to the quality of care all of the Zoo’s endangered species receive. Jaguars typically live twelve to fifteen years in the wild.
Schedule of events for “Muchacho’s Birthday Bash”
Saturday, January 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The first 300 children through the gate will receive a special jaguar-themed gift from the birthday boy as thanks for celebrating with him. Muchacho will be on exhibit all day to bask in the glow of his adoring fans!
- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Glass Productions' Noisy Neighbors DJ and Purple People Painters Face Painting / Location: Fountain Plaza
- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Sand Art / Location: Mayan Plaza, Jaguar Habitat
- 11:30 a.m.: Jaguar Talk with Special Birthday Enrichment / Location: Jaguar Habitat
- 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.: New York Life Insurance wil be offering complimentary child IDs to all children in attendance. See flyer for more details (.pdf).
The Zoo has one of the most successful zoo jaguar husbandry and breeding programs in all of North America. Along with matriarch jaguar Nabalam, Muchacho has fathered five total cubs at the Zoo, two of which (Maya and Izel) still reside at the Zoo.
"Muchacho tells the story of jaguars’ current plight in nature,” said Jan Steele, General Curator for the Zoo. “They are endangered and their habitat is diminishing, so we have to do everything we can to develop conservation awareness through education, breed the cats as part of the national program and by supporting field work where these cats live."
The Zoo is funding a jaguar conservation program managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Bolivia. In February, WCS will send representatives to the Zoo to update all staff on the project, regarding the Greater Madidi Tambopata Landscape (.pdf), upon which jaguars live.
The numbers of wild jaguars are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat. The jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico, Central America, Paraguay and Argentina.
The Zoo’s jaguars reside in the award-winning Tropics of America section of the Zoo. Staff members encourage visitors to take actions that will help conserve jaguar habitat, such as purchasing shade-grown coffee, paper and wood products certified by the U.S. Forest Stewardship Council and buying locally-grown produce.
In addition to the milestone jaguar birthday, the Zoo is announcing its newest corporate sponsor, Jaguar Palm Beach. Their sponsorship will help continue the Zoo’s tradition of providing quality care for its resident jaguars, including Muchacho.
“Jaguar Palm Beach is honored to sponsor the jaguar habitat at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society,” said Stephen Myers, owner of Jaguar Palm Beach. “We are proud to financially support institutions like the Zoo that make important conservation efforts for this endangered species.”
Thank you to New York Life Insurance for joining us at Muchacho's 20th Birthday Bash!