Southern Texas, Mexico, Central and South America
Rodents, rabbits, young deer, monkeys and javelina, birds, snakes and fish
Humid tropical forests to arid desert habitats
The ocelot is a medium-size, short-hair cat. It hunts at night and swims well. This cat uses lower tree branches to hunt birds, bats, and snakes. Its distinctive markings serve as camouflage. Unfortunately, the ocelot is hunted for the beauty of its coat.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ocelots once lived as far east as Louisiana, but their habitat has been reduced by agriculture. Today only about 80-120 ocelots live in South Texas. Overall, ocelot populations are high in Central and South America. Two subspecies from southeast Texas and Brazil, however, are close to extinction. Habitat loss to agriculture and the lumber industry has severely reduced ocelot numbers in the lower Rio Grande Valley and the rain forests of Brazil. Hunting and the illegal pet trade are also a threat to this cat.
MORE ABOUT OUR ANIMALS:
Our male ocelot was born on February 24, 2004 and arrived at the El Paso Zoo from the Cincinnati Zoo on April 14, 2008.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED IN CONSERVATION EFFORTS:
Read about ocelots online and check out books from your local library. Become a member of the El Paso Zoological Society. Funds raised by the Society are used to support conservation efforts at the Zoo and in the wild.
JUST FOR KIDS:
Our ocelots are one of five wild cat species living at the El Paso Zoo. Look for the other four species in Africa and Asia.