IxChel, a female jaguar (Panthera onca
) at Audubon Zoo, New Orleans, LA.
Shot through glass, unfortunately.
For an explanation of her name and other photos of these wonderfully affectionate cats, see
From the plate in front of their exhibit:
The range of the jaguar once extended from the southern portion of South America to the Southwestern US, but as human populations have grown, jaguar populations have shrunk. Today they are very rare in the northern area of this range, with the Amazon rainforests of South America being the last great refuge for most jaguars and their prey.
Historically, the greatest single threat to the jaguar has been hunting. Throughout the mid-twentieth century, they were slaughtered relentlessly for their highly prized pelts. It has been illegal to hunt jaguars commercially since they were placed on the Endangered Species list in 1972, but an illegal trade for their skins still exists. In addition, habitat destruction continues to take territory away from them.
To protect these animals, the government of Belize has set up the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s first jaguar preserve. The sanctuary’s 150 square miles of rainforest provide a protected environment for roughly 200 jaguars.
The Spotted Cat is also a Music Club for Live Jazz & Blues on 623 Frenchmen Street, less than two blocks from the French Quarter in the Faubourg Marigny district.