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Observations about the behavior of jaguars held in captivity

Living in close quarters to jaguars is quite different from watching them in their natural habitat.

There is much prejudice against animals held in captivity and undoubtedly, those who are unable to watch them grow and follow their development are not in a position to know some of the essential features of these magnificent animals.

The most striking qualities, which constantly surprise us, are their intelligence and spatial perception. A good example of that is how well they can locate the locks and gates in every enclosure. Sampson, Dalilah and Carlota lived in two different enclosures for a year and five months – first they were in the temporary enclosure for cubs and now they are in the permanent one. In both enclosures they learned how to open the gate locks. And it is not something they learn with time, they learn to do that from the very first try. Were it not for the double locks and around-the-clock attention they would easily go out.

Dalilah, 6 to 8 months old: learning to open gate locks.

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