Leopardus [Felis] pardalis
Southern Texas, Mexico, Central America and South America to Argentina
Tropical & subtropical evergreen forests, dry deciduous forests, dry scrub and seasonally flooded savannas
Wild: Rodents, small mammals, occasional agouti, birds, fish, snakes, lizards and land crabs; Zoo: Canine diet, bones once weekly
1-3, usually 1
20 years (captivity)
Ocelots have short, close fur marked with both solid and open dark spots that sometimes run in lines along the body. The tail is ringed with black or has black bars on the upper surface. The large ears are rounded with a prominent white spot on the back. These medium sized cats weigh 15.5-28.75 lb. with a head and body length of 26-39.25 in. and a tail length of 10.25-16.25 in.
Did you know?
- Ocelots are strong swimmers and are able to cross rivers and move between patches of high ground in seasonally flooded habitats. They can be tamed but have very pungent thick sticky urine that creates a lot of work for a pet owner.
- The Genus name, Felis, is from the Latin felis, "a cat." The species name, pardalis, is from the Latin pardus, "a panther, or a leopard" and alis, a suffix meaning "related to."
- Ocelots eyesight is six times better than humanís, so has no trouble tracking down prey at night.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Brazilian Ocelot Exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.