I had one of those wonderful visits that was full of non-stop fun! Nindiri and Valerio were both taking turns instigating games of chase, and there were lots of wrestling matches in between! The keepers have said that Nindiri has begun the process of pushing her son away, getting ready for the inevitable separation, but there were no signs of that on this day. They both were thoroughly enjoying their playtime and just couldn’t seem to get enough! There would be a flurry of activity and then they would settle down and go their own way…but only for a few minutes. Then one would tease the other by rolling on their back, or else sneak up and pounce, and then it was on all over again! Did I mention that Valerio went in the water? He started by pawing at a cylinder that was just out of reach, and went in after it as it floated further away. Then he found his gourd and had a wild time splashing around, determined to capture it - you would have thought it was alive, slipping away often enough to be a challenge. Once he even popped it up out of the water and into the air - nice control Valerio! He was in and out of the water often, not forgetting his games with Nindiri. He would suddenly jump out of the pool, thoroughly drenched, and race over to restart the action. He managed to get his mom pretty well soaked, too, and both of them ended up covered in mud. He had a sly move for getting away when mom was on his heels - he ran back into the safety of the water, confident Nindiri wouldn’t come in after him! He’s a smart boy, for sure! Mom has taught him well!
Keywords:Big Cat, Cub, Jaguar, Mom and Son, San Diego Zoo