LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Balam, the jaguar cub, will make his first public appearance at Lufkin's Ellen Trout Zoo on Saturday, Sept. 19.
According to a post on the zoo's Facebook page, Balam will turn four weeks old on Thursday. Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Balam will be in the jaguar exhibit with his keeper, who will be on hand to let the cub be seen and answer questions from the public.
"There will not be any direct public contact," the Facebook post stated. "We hope to have him out until 10 a.m., but this will depend on him and he responds."
Because of his mother's poor parenting skills, Balam was removed from his mother at birth, the post stated. Zoo director Gordon Henley said because Balam was cold and weak, they decided to take him away from his mother to warm him up and give him some fluids.
"He is doing well and getting stronger under the excellent care provided by his keepers and when not being fed or cleaned remains in visual, auditory, and olfactory communication with one of his parents," the post stated.
Balam is the Mayan word for "jaguar." He weighed 1.6 pounds when he was born.