Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ocelot

OcelotLargest of the Leopardus genus cats, the beautiful Ocelot is a wild cat of the Americas. Leopardus Pardalis, it is also known as 'Painted Leopard', 'Manigordo' and 'McKenney's Wild Cat'. Twice as large as a domestic cat, it can be nearly five feet long (including tail) and weigh around twenty five to thirty pounds.

Ocelot's fur resembles that of Jaguar according to many people's opinion though to me it looks more like a small clouded leopard. Coat varies in color from cream/yellow in dry areas to dark yellow/brown in densely forested habitats. Markings are irregular, dark brown with a black border, in the form of spots and stripes along the body length. A nocturnal cat, Ocelot is often seen resting in tree branches and is known as a good swimmer. It is a very territorial feline and fiercely defends its territory from intruders - often fighting till death!

Ocelot DistributionPredominantly a terrestrial hunter, Ocelot usually takes down smaller prey animals including rodents, monkeys, small deer and fish. It has a keen nocturnal vision and is also believed to use scent to track down prey. A solitary cat, Ocelot can have a range of several square miles in the wild. They have a long gestational period as a species and produce a small litter with slow maturation and high death rate among kittens - something that doesn't help their numbers in the wild.

Historically Ocelots have been widely hunted and prized for their coat. Young cubs were also trapped and mothers killed, to steal them for the 'pet' industry. Afterwards they were de-clawed, de-fanged and de-scented to make them 'better pets' for humans. In the 1980s they were classified as endangered and thereafter the Ocelot trade lessened. Today they flourish again in parts of South and Central America, though certain subspecies including the Texan Ocelot Leopardus Pardalis Albescens is still classified as endangered by the IUCN!

35 comments:

jh an Mickey Mantle said...

dis izza byootiful cat.
do u think he wood eet me if he saw me?
jus wunderin.
luv--jh

Dragonheart said...

Ocelots are very beautiful cats. I am glad they are protected.

Mickey said...

I am fairly new to your blog. I do enjoy reading about the many different cats that are lining in the world.Thank you for sharing the information.
I love cat fur,but only on the cat!!

Yoggie said...

That is an extremely impressive cat!
I am glad that they are not trapped and tortured anymore.
Nice to meet you!!

Cheysuli said...

The ocelot is a lovely cat. I like the playful cat look too!

Monica said...

What a beautiful cat! those eyes are so big.

Tara said...

What beautiful cats! I happy to hear their numbers are recovering!
Tara

Karen Jo said...

Ocelots are truly magnificent cats. I am glad that their numbers are increasing and that they are protected. I have seen pictures of people with an ocelot on a leash, but I didn't realize how badly the ocelot had been tortured to permit that. I'm really glad that isn't going on any more.

Chairman Mao said...

I'm glad ocelots are proteckted, too. They sound like wunnerful kitties.

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!

Marilyn MonREOW said...

Ocelots sound like fascinating cats, and they are so beautiful! Thank you for teaching us so much about our big relatives.

Purrs and snuggles from Marilyn!

Miss Peach>(^,^) said...

Thank you dearest Omer and the SnowForest clan for loving me so very much and sending me your healing purrrrs and purayers. I have eaten my dinner and drank some water. Mommy puts me in my litterbox and I go pee, then I scratch the carpet and headbunk her. I purrr as she puts me back into the frying pan. I hope she still likes me after I put a hole in her thumb...she should be faster with that pill thing!
Love Peachy

Christine and FAZ said...

I think ocelots are my favourite and they're a good word for scrabble too. FAZ

Daisy said...

The ocelot sure has big, beautiful eyes.

Catzee said...

TAG! I tagged Snow an' Forest fur a meme. Wanna play?

Gretchen said...

Oh, Ocelots are really pretty. My mom bean tells me that they're bred here in the US sometimes and are like housepets.

Hugs...G

The Cat Realm said...

They are such beautiful cats!!!
I am glad they are protected now!

michico 小芥 said...

Ocelots is very very beautiful and stunning cat~!!!! I am glad they are much better now.

THE ZOO said...

that is one beyootiful cat. were glad theyre slowly coming back in numbers.

zevo calamari said...

wow, they are so beautiful. It is sad they were hunted for fur. Thanks so much for the great photos.

Ariel said...

Hi,

I changed my blog.Here is the new web address...
http://ariel-thoughts.blogspot.com/

Lux said...

They are very beautiful, especially with those huge eyes!

Miss Peach>(^,^) said...

Dear Omer.....I am finally feeling much better and came for a visit! thinking often about you all and hope you are well and happy!
Love Peachy

Ariel said...

Their very beautiful and I love learning more about them :)

mikhail said...

:)

catsynth said...

This is a great post, as are your other recent articles about wildcats. We posted stories about ocelots, too - including the threats they face by current "border security" measures in the USA. You can read about that here.

Thanks for sharing, and keep it up. We'll keep reading :)

Leptailurus said...

Ocelots are gorgeous creatures, but the first picture is of a MARGAY! It is not an ocelot, though they are related.

snowforest said...

It's an ocelot kitten photographed in a Colombian zoo!

15 and livin' in Mexico said...

I actually have a friend who has a baby Ocelot as a pet, He is only 8 pounds right now but i can't wait until he gets bigger. He IS an amazing creature and has the coolest personality.

Anonymous said...

ocelots are so cute!!!

Знакомый said...

Ocelot baby fun http://iolam.livejournal.com/347615.html

Parag said...

The Ocelot is one of the most beautiful animals, its coat is like a beautiful painting. It has big eyes and a long tail full of life. It moves with incredible elegance like liquid silver. It can climb and run and jump and swim.
Ocelot facts

Anonymous said...

god made the ocelot

Anonymous said...

awesome

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