- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The Hattiesburg Zoo now has a female black jaguar, and officials say Maya probably will be a permanent replacement for a male that died in January.

“She is totally black. She might have a few spots but they’re not very noticeable - which is pretty unusual for a jaguar,” said zoo spokeswoman Mercey Livingston.

The 13-year-old female will probably be out in her exhibit in early December, animal care manager Stephen Taylor said in a news release.

Quarantines of about a month are standard when zoos bring in animals new to them.

Maya is on long-term loan from the Memphis Zoo, and Hattiesburg probably will be her permanent home, officials said.

According to the World Animal Foundation website, jaguar lifespans are thought to average 12 to 15 years in the wild, but some captive jaguars can live more than 20 years.

The Hattiesburg jaguar exhibit is about double the size of the one in Memphis and includes something else she hasn’t had - a swimming pool, Livingston said.

“It has this kind of pyramid so she has a higher place to climb up on. There’s trees. She’ll have the swimming pool. And there’s like a stream coming off the pool, and they’ll put fish in there for her to catch,” she said.

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