Jaguar triplets arrive at Woodland Park Zoo in rare birth

Jaguar triplets arrive at Woodland Park Zoo in rare birth
The Woodland Park Zoo's new triplet jaguar cubs bond with their mother in a behind-the-scenes maternity den. (Courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo)

SEATTLE -- In what is a rare occurrence for zoos in general and an even rarer occurrence for the Woodland Park Zoo in particular, a 7-year-old jaguar gave birth to triplets Friday.

The cubs are the first jaguars born at the Woodland Park Zoo since 1994. Only eight jaguar cubs were born at accredited zoos in all of last year, according to Woodland Park Zoo curator Mark Myers.

The cubs, whose eyes won't even open for another week or so, are currently bumping around with their mother Nayla in a behind-the-scenes maternity den, which zoo staff are carefully monitoring by webcam.

“The first few days are critical, especially for a first-time mom,” Myers said in a press release. “But, I’m happy to report that each of the cubs is nursing an showing excelling mobility. We will keep a close eye on the cubs over the next few months for continuing signs of normal behavior and development.”

The cubs will stay off-view for the next few months while they grow and bond with their mother. Once they are large enough, they will be introduced to the outdoor exhibit currently home to their father, 14-year-old Junior.