Kent

Wingham Wildlife Park jaguar twins 'best Christmas present'

Jaguar cubs Image copyright Wingham Wildlife Park
Image caption The jaguar twins will be named in the new year by visitors to the park's Facebook page

A wildlife park has unveiled its first set of jaguar twins - one black and one spotted - and described them as the "best Christmas present".

The black coloured female and yellow spotted male will be named by the public via its Facebook page in the new year.

The male is the same colour as his father Loki and the female has inherited mother Luna's colouring.

"It was a really nice surprise for all of us to get twins," the park said.

Luke Binskin, head of the carnivore section, said: "It is nice when they have twins to have one of each colour, although it does cause a bit of confusion for people who often think that we have one jaguar and one leopard."

Image copyright Wingham Wildlife Park
Image caption Luke Binskin said the cubs were a "nice surprise"
Image copyright Wingham Wildlife Park
Image caption The male cub (left) is the same colour as his father while the female (right) is black like her mother

Park owner Tony Binskin said: "Luna has actually already been seen taking one of her cubs outside, which is something we would never have expected at this time of year, and had to keep an eye on her to make sure that the baby didn't get cold."

The twins were born on 4 December.

Mr Binskin said the parents had mated earlier than than the park's staff had thought and they were not expecting the cubs to be born so early in December.

His wife Jackie said: "You really can't ask for a better Christmas present than seeing a brand new life."

Jaguar facts

Jaguars are the largest cats of the Americas and vary in size within different regions

Black jaguars are often called black panthers, although the name can also be used for black leopards

Jaguars eat a variety of prey from large mammals such as deer to fish and small birds

Their common name comes from the native Indian "yaguara", meaning "beast that kills its prey with one bound"

Jaguars typically attack their prey by pouncing on them from a concealed spot

Source: BBC Nature

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