Photos: Jaguar cub, tapir and giraffe babies charm Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium visitors

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by Catherine Holland

Note: There is no audio on the video clip above.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 3:04 AM

LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. -- Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium welcomed three babies in August -- a jaguar, a tapir and a giraffe.

The jaguar, named Fitz after Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, is a little guy now, but his brethren a the largest cat in the New World, and third in size behind lions and tigers.

The tapir, which is not yet formally named, is the first of his kind born at WWZ&A in more than a decade. He's also the first the WWZ&A team has ever hand raised.

Small now, the tapir, a distant cousin of the horse and rhinoceros, will grow to be up to 500 pounds. He'll also lose his beautiful stripes by the time he's about a year old and will become adept at using his prehensile snout (think elephant truck) to forage for food.

Both the jaguar cub and tapir are currently on display inside the Wildlife World Baby Animal Nursery.

Radar, the giraffe, is the tallest of the new babies. He's already almost 6 feet tall. He'll be about double that by his first birthday. When he's full-grown, he'll be 16 to 17 feet tall, just a bit taller than his mom, who is keeping a very close eye on him.

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ. It's open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

 Zoo exhibits are open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5 p.m.)  Aquarium exhibits are open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Daytime admission includes access to the zoo and aquarium.

For more information, call 623 935-WILD (9453) or visit us on Facebook and www.WildlifeWorld.com.

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