2 endangered animals born at Arizona zoo - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

2 endangered animals born at Arizona zoo

Jaguar cub (Source: Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, AZ) Jaguar cub (Source: Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, AZ)
A South American baby tapir. (Source: Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, AZ) A South American baby tapir. (Source: Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, AZ)
LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ (CBS5) -

A South American baby tapir and a jaguar cub were born in the past month at the Phoenix-area Wildlife World Zoo.

The zoo called the births significant because the animals are on the endangered species list. 

Jaguars are the largest variety of feline found in the Western Hemisphere and third in size behind lions and tigers. They face an uncertain future because of poaching and deforestation, resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation. 

While most jaguars are yellow with black spots, a sizable fraction of the population, like this new cub, is black with black spots.

Jaguars have an extensive range throughout Central and South America and were once found throughout the desert Southwest, including Arizona.

Many are killed as a result of increasing human-animal conflicts over space and resources.

The South American tapir is a distant cousin to the horse and rhinoceros due to the odd number of toes on their rear feet.

There are three subspecies of tapir found in South America and one from Asia; each species is listed as threatened due to poaching and habitat loss.

The striking white stripes and spots that serve as camouflage on newborn tapirs will eventually fade as they grow to nearly full size.

Adults mature into a uniform dark brown and use their comfort in water to help avoid predators such as jaguars.

Both the jaguar cub and baby tapir are currently on display inside the Wildlife World Baby Animal Nursery.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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