Bearizona, a popular wildlife park near the Grand Canyon devoted to providing homes to wild animals in need, today announced the addition of two new jaguars in the walk-through portion of the park — just in time for visitors to celebrate and support National Cat Day on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018.

National Cat Day is a national holiday created by animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige in 2005, who wanted to start a day to help people recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year. Although the holiday is typically devoted to the common household cat, this year Bearizona is celebrating its adoption of the domesticated cat’s much larger, wilder and more endangered counterpart: the jaguar.

In honor of the park’s recent adoption of two new jaguars, Nacho and Libre, as well as its mission to rescuing wild animals in need of new homes, Bearizona will donate 10 percent of all admission proceeds from Oct. 29 to the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound’s Feline Conservation Center in Rosamond, California, also called the “Cat House.” In addition, 10 percent of all proceeds from any cat-related gift shop items will also be donated to the same non-profit organization.

“We are celebrating National Cat Day in a big way this year — literally,” said Bearizona Owner Sean Casey. “These two jaguar brothers are a great addition to Bearizona, and we are so happy to be able to provide them with the space, environment and enrichment they need to thrive. Our jaguar enclosure is one of the biggest in North America, at 11,000 square feet, and even has a 30-foot waterfall and river running through it.”

Nacho and Libre are brothers who turn four years old on Nov. 3, 2018. Nacho is black (melanistic) while Libre is spotted (rosette). Both were adopted from a wild cat preserve in California, where they were born. Male jaguars reach sexual maturity at about four years of age.

In the United States, the spotted (rosette) jaguars’ current range includes Texas, the Cerro Colorado Mountains in Arizona, the southern part of California, and New Mexico. The number of jaguars has declined over the last 100 years because many of their habitats in Central and South America have been destroyed as new cities are built. As a result of this as well as poaching, the species now needs protection and conservation measures so they do not become extinct.

Bearizona is a drive- and walk-through wildlife park whose mission is to rescue wild animals in need of new homes and promote conservation by inviting visitors to view wildlife in spacious, natural environments. Since it was founded in 2010, Bearizona has fast-become a must-see attraction when visiting the Grand Canyon’s South Rim or driving through Northern Arizona. It was voted among the top three wildlife parks by the annual USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards twice in the past two years.

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