Saban, Brevard Zoo's 1-year-old male jaguar, is moving north to a new home at Jacksonville Zoo — and he'll be replaced by a California cat.
Saban is "young, robust and vocal," said Olivia Wiggins, zoo spokeswoman.
He was born in January 2013 to mother, Masaya, and father, LeBron, who was transferred to Louisville Zoo late last year.
Saban will leave for Jacksonville on Wednesday in accordance with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Jaguar Species Survival Plan. That way, he will wean from his mother — clearing room for an unrelated adult male to meet Masaya.
That unrelated adult male would be Mulac, who has already moved onto Brevard Zoo property from Sacramento Zoo. Mulac will move into Masaya's exhibit shortly after Saban exits the premises.
AZA officials have yet to identify a potential mate for Saban. So he will live at Jacksonville Zoo until a decision is made. He could move again to another AZA facility.
"It has been exciting to watch Saban grow to be so playful and energetic like his father, LeBron," Kathleen Milk, who oversees Brevard Zoo's jaguar husbandry programs, stated in a news release.
Jaguars are a near threatened species that has almost vanished from the United States. As of 2010, there were 55 jaguars — 32 females and 23 males — living in captivity at 26 AZA institutions.
Contact Neale at 321-242-3638, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @RickNeale1.