Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

The ocelot can be found from the southern areas of Texas, through Columbia down to the northern regions of Argentina. The live in densely covered areas such as heavily wooded rain forests where they can hide in the trees. They are timid animals and spend most of their time high in the canopies of trees where they can sleep. Ocelots are found in the Amazon regions of South America and Central America.

Ocelots have spots and markings from their head to their tail. This helps them camouflage in the foliage of the rain forest and helps them go undetected by predators and prey alike. The felines are small and light in comparison to their more hefty cousins the jaguar, which helps them maneuver through the trees higher above the forest floor. They can reach higher areas in the trees; this means they have access to more prey and therefor less competition with other larger predators. Their tails are used for balance when they are high in the trees which occurs when they hunt, feed, sleep and play. Ocelots are able to see in the dark which means that they are nocturnal (they come out at night).

Ocelots are polygamous creatures, this means that they have more than one partner. A female ocelot will have 1 to 3 young after a gestation period of 79 to 95 days. The ocelot cubs will stay with their mother for 1 to 2 years. They will learn to fight and hunt through playing with each other as well as social structures. Their mother will teach them when to stay quiet and what to eat so that they will be able to survive without her.

Due to their size ocelots eat smaller prey such as small birds, reptiles and mammals. This would include lizards, snakes and mice. The ocelot is a carnivore and only finds nutrition from other animals. Larger predators such as jaguars and cougars pose a threat to the ocelot because they are so much larger and at times compete for the same food source. Another huge predator is humans. Ocelots are a very popular trafficked animal because of their brilliant coats. They are at a huge risk of trafficking. Deforestation poses another problem because it brings ocelots territory closer to its predators such as the jaguar. By adopting an ocelot you can help rehabilitate animals who have experienced trafficking first hand.

Body Length 0.66 - 0.97 metres
Tail Length 0.28 - 0.41 metres
Wingspan N/A
Life Span 8.00 - 11.00 years
Weight 8.16 - 15.88 kilograms