Magnum, a jaguar born at Innisfail’s Discovery Wildlife Park, could differentiate between small, medium and large logs.
The twins, Magnum and his brother Mia, were born in Central Alberta in December 2002. In October, Mia, a tan-coloured jaguar, died at the age of 16. In late November, Magnum followed his brother.
Serena Bos, head zoo keeper and animal trainer at Discovery Wildlife Park, said Magnum died of natural causes, adding he died in his sleep.
“He was very old. He ended up passing away of something called renal failure, which is what most cats – doesn’t matter if it’s a house cat or a large cat – do pass away from, which goes hand in hand with old age,” said Bos.
Whether or not his brother’s death affected Magnum is up for debate.
Bos said Magnum was not grieving for Mia. He was still training, he was still getting his nails trimmed and he was up for doing different things like he normally did.
“Lots of times in elderly people, you will see one pass away and it’s a very short time after that the other passes away, even if they did appear to be fine as well. So is there a possibility that inside, he just didn’t have the same will to fight like he did before, that’s not something that’s measurable…
“So is it possible? Yes. Is there any way of saying that it’s matter of fact? Absolutely not,” Bos said.
Looking back at the two cats’ lives, Bos said Mia was the dominant one. Magnum was a trouble maker.
“He would start anything, he was always up to something,” said Bos.
Magnum was “extremely intelligent” with “high drive” and always wanted to learn new things and be challenged. In the last few years of his life, he learned to tell the difference between small, medium and large logs.
“You could move them around, add different or new logs, that were still different in size and he could actually differentiate between small, medium and large,” the head trainer said.
Magnum instigated shenanigans, said Bos.
“You know with siblings, one always instigates something or goes and picks on the other one and pokes at them. That was him,” she said of Magnum.
Although the jaguar looked mostly black, Bos said one could see the tan-coloured spots on Magnum, just like Mia.
The cats’ parents came from B.C., and had they not found a forever home in Innisfail, the parents would’ve been euthanized.
Those who look forward to going to the Discovery Wildlife Park in May may not find Magnum and Mia, but they will find two cougar cubs – a new addition to the zoo. Quora and Tavo arrived from Montana on Sept. 28.
The bears at the zoo are now hibernating. The last one was Berkley this year – the youngest of all the bears.
Bos said she was shocked to see Berkley hibernate as she wasn’t expecting her to, because most cubs in captivity don’t.
Berkley showed no interest in hibernating last year.
“It’s very similar to if you have company over, and the little ones are suppose to go to bed at 8 p.m. There’s no way they’re going to sleep because things are too exciting and that’s how it was for her last year, and in my experience, normally the second year is not much different than the first year,” Bos said.
There are benefits to bears hibernating – something that will help Berkley when she is older.