Jaguars live in a variety of habitats, from dense jungle and scrub land to reed thickets and shoreline forests. They will even live in open country, provided the grass and rocks offer enough cover for hunting, and a reliable supply of water is available.
Adult jaguars are solitary, seeking each other out only during breeding season, when male and female stay together for a short time to mate. A young jaguar stays with its mother for a few years before leaving to find hunting territories of its own.
Very little is known about the family life of wild jaguars. They have been hunted almost to extinction for their fur. Biologists now find it difficult to study wild jaguars in zoos, where the animals have been bred successfully.
Males and females meet in the wild only to mate. The male leaves as soon as mating is over, and the female brings up the young on her own.
She gives birth to one to four cubs, which are blind at birth and weigh only 25- 32 ounces. The cubs begin exploring the world outside the den at about two weeks, when their eyes have opened. The begin hunting
with their mother at the age of six months. They remain with her for the first two years before leaving to find a territory of their own in which to hunt. A jaguar is sexually mature at three years of age.
Jaguars hunt mainly on the ground; however they will climb trees to lie in wait for prey. The jaguar can cover short distances rapidly, but it tires quickly. It hunts mainly at night and often surprises its unsuspecting prey. Its food consists mostly of forest animals varying in size from mice to deer. The jaguar is a proficient...