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Fight in holding complex leaves jaguar dead at Jacksonville zoo

A 21-year female named Zenta died Saturday following a confrontation with a 12-year-old male named Harry, the zoo said.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has used its jaguars in promotions. One of the big cats died after a fight with another Saturday.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has used its jaguars in promotions. One of the big cats died after a fight with another Saturday. [ Facebook ]
Published Feb. 25
Updated Feb. 25

JACKSONVILLE — A fight between two jaguars at a Florida zoo left one of the big cats dead, officials said.

A 21-year female named Zenta died Saturday following a confrontation with a 12-year-old male named Harry at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, the zoo announced in a news release.

“Zenta’s death is the result of a terrible mistake, and we are reviewing all aspects of this awful occurrence,” deputy zoo director Dan Maloney said in a statement. “Both jaguars were contained at all times and our team responded safely and swiftly.”

The fight occurred in a holding complex after Harry was brought in for an examination, officials said. Keepers tried to separate the animals but were unsuccessful. A special team was called to immobilize Harry, but Zenta was already dead by the time they arrived, officials said.

Zenta arrived at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 2006 as a rescued animal from a private zoo, and Harry was born at the park in 2009.