PHOTOS: 3 Jaguar cubs born at Montgomery Zoo now on exhibit - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

PHOTOS: 3 Jaguar cubs born at Montgomery Zoo now on exhibit

One of the three jaguar cubs at the Montgomery Zoo. One of the three jaguar cubs at the Montgomery Zoo.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Montgomery Zoo is showing off three female Jaguar cubs that were born at the zoo in October 2013. The babies are now on exhibit for the public.

Zoo officials say the cubs are the first born to mom Nakita, a 4-year-old spotted jaguar, and dad Kai, an 8-year-old black jaguar.

The cubs are all black like their father, which zoo officials say is melanistic, a term that means he has an unusually high amount of melanin, a black pigment found in animals and plants.

Though the babies were born in October, zoo officials have kept them off display, instead allowing them to remain in the jaguar den to bond with their mother. After 12 weeks, the cubs were on solid food.

[SLIDESHOW: Montgomery Zoo Jaguar Cubs]

The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum says there are only an estimated 200 jaguars in zoos worldwide. The animal's population continues to decrease in the wild due to loss of habitat and human encroachment.

The jaguar is the third largest in the Big Cat Family behind lions and tigers.

Montgomery Zoo says the and cubs and their mother will be on exhibit every day from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. depending on weather condition and animal husbandry needs.

ON THE WEB: www.montgomeryzoo.com

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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