Happy Hollow Foundation

Foundation News

Media mentions:


Something New is Coming to the Zoo!

Donate Now

Update on Sophia the Jaguar and SSP

May 2014 – You may have heard that Sophia, our jaguar, is part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.  In 2013, Sophia was selected as a breeding candidate.  However that was just the beginning.

SSP is basically like computer dating, but for threatened and endangered species. This ensures vigorous genetics and bloodlines that keep the species strong. Before Sophia can find just the right guy, she needs a few housekeeping items in order.  Like a bachelor pad night house, video monitoring system, and specialty training in large cat introductions for her keepers.  The Happy Hollow Foundation announced the “Find Sophia a Boyfriend!” campaign in the spring of 2013.  Since that time, a night enclosure for a special friend has been built.  Guests at the Hoot & Howl were presented with Sophia’s Dowry list (which included blush-worthy items like a bean bag gun, pepper spray and net capture system).  She also has plenty of mundane items like lumber and building supplies, enrichment toys, transport system and veterinary nursery care in case she successfully breeds. 

A potential boyfriend was identified (yay!), but he was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and his home zoo felt it was best for him to not travel (aw, darn it).  However, the ball was already set in motion and we are committed to having a zoo facility that is ready for a large cat breeding pair.  We are continuing our readiness steps that include additions to Sophia’s habitat and spaces, as well as building her dowry list.  The more our facility is turn-key prepared, the better the chances for breeding recommendations.  Things can change quickly in the zoo world so we will continue our readiness steps, with donor support.

Sophia is not the only SSP animal at Happy Hollow, so we do have some great news to share.  Our Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are also part of the program.  Alika, one of our females, has moved to Saint Louis Zoo and has been successfully introduced to her breeding partner.  Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, from Madagascar, are designated as a Critically Endangered Species.  Your zoo is a major participant in its protection and survival, and ensuring genetic diversity.  Other Happy Hollow animals in SSP include:

  • Red Ruffed Lemur
  • Ring Tailed Lemur
  • Parma Wallabies
  • Fossa 
  • Straw Colored Fruit bat
  • Capybara
  • Fennec fox
  • Meerkat
  • Collared peccary
  • Prehensile tailed porcupine
  • Prehensile tailed skink
  • Black necked stilt
  • Crested wood partridge

Learn more about the role AZA accredited zoos play in species survival.  You’ll be proud that Happy Hollow is your hometown zoo. 

City of San Jose Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow FoundationSpecies Survival Plan /templates/hhpz/iAAPA Member facebook twitter YouTube