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Jaguar at Pennsylvania zoo unexpectedly gives birth to cubs

By Daniel Uria
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Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A zoo in Pennsylvania received two unexpected bundles of joy when a female jaguar gave birth to a pair of cubs.

Staff at Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown were surprised to find that resident female Inka had given birth to two cubs three months after being introduced to male Zean.

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"Inka gave birth in the early morning hours of January 24," the zoo said. "The birth was unexpected, but our animal care team has done everything in their power to make sure mom and cubs are safe and comfortable."

Inka and Zean were first directly introduced in October 2016 after they had previously only been able to view each other between the fencing that separates their exhibit spaces.

"The first day of their introduction was October 12. The chances for a successful conception were slim for a couple of 'first-timers,' which is why the birth came as somewhat of a surprise," the zoo said.

The cubs were the first jaguars born n 2017 within an The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facility and they will be out of sight from the public for the next few months until they are transferred into the zoo's upcoming "Trail of the Jaguar" facility.

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Zoo staff have been monitoring the cubs since their birth and had to wait before caring mother Inka would allow staff near her babies.

"The cubs look great, are actively nursing for long periods of time, and are very vocal," the zoo said. "Inka is a very attentive mother; she's so attentive that it took nearly a week before the staff was able to separate her from them in order to examine the cubs."

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