Happy birthday, Fiona!

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
October 06, 2017

It was an epic day at the Palm Beach Zoo when one of their beloved residents celebrated her third birthday. Fiona the jaguar's party included an all-hands-on-deck effort that involved cake, a life-sized birthday card, and a giant parrot sculpture.

The gorgeous spotted cat has not always been so lucky, however. Fiona was found in Panama "clinging to life" after being attacked by hunting dogs in October 2014. Following the attack that left her unable to fend for herself in the wild, she was saved by the Pan American Conservation Association (APPC), a wildlife rehabilitation center. Thankfully, she was nursed back to health and made her grand entrance at the Palm Beach Zoo on Memorial Day Weekend.

To celebrate this resilient feline's life, APPC members, along with the Honorable Mr. Yamil Sanchez, the Vice Minister of the Environment of Panama, came to Palm Beach for a special party.

According to a press release, Fiona is the number one jaguar in America in terms of genetics. She will be set up with beau Zooka, a jaguar from Quebec, who is expected to arrive at the zoo by April 2018 as part of the Zoo's Species Survival Plan.

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

"This speaks to the core of Palm Beach Zoo's international connections with movers and shakers in the conservation community," explained Nancy Nill, Associate Curator for the Zoo, in the same press release. "There are less than 300 jaguars left in Panama. There are only one or two in the U.S., and the population keeps diving. We are working with multiple governments, the best of the best, to keep a species from becoming extinct."

Here's to many more happy and healthy birthdays, Fiona!