I’ve been attracted to Ocelots since I can remember. I really did want one as a pet when I was a kid, but my parents quickly vetoed that idea! Salvador Dali had one named Babou. But then he also had a pet Aardvark which he walked on a leash through the streets of Paris, so I think that tells you the guy was “out there”. I found a really good explanation about Ocelots on a website called “Just Fun Facts”, and I’d like to share it with you.
FUN FACTS ABOUT OCELOTS
The ocelot also known as the dwarf leopard, is a wild cat. Ocelots live primarily in the rain forests of South America. They also live in Central America, Mexico, and even some as far north as southern Texas. Ocelots are found in a variety of habitats. Their primary habitat requirement is dense vegetative cover. Ocelots are found in open areas only when it’s cloudy or at night when there is a new moon.
They generally live at elevations below 3,937 feet, but have been sighted at 11,482 feet as well. Average lifespan of ocelot is 10 to 13 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity. Ocelots range in color from light yellow to reddish gray, with dark spots and stripes. They have dark stripes on their cheeks and their tailed have rings of dark fur.
The ocelot ranges from 27 to 39 inches in length, plus 10 to 18 inches in tail length. Weight for females is from 14.3 to 25.3 pounds, and for males is from 15 to 34 pounds). Ocelots are nocturnal, meaning they’re most active at night. During the day, they rest in the hollow trees, on the branches or dense vegetation. Like all small cats, ocelots have very good vision and hearing. Their eyes have a special layer that collects light.
Ocelots spend most of their time on the ground but are strong swimmers and good climbers and jumpers. Ocelots communicate with each other using body language, scent marking, and vocalizations. Ocelots are territorial and solitary creatures. Ocelots are very active, traveling from 1.1 to 4.1 miles per night. Female Ocelots are called Queens while Male Ocelots are called Torns.
An ocelot family is made up of an adult female and her young. After breeding, the male and female ocelots go their separate ways. The female is pregnant for a little over two months before she gives birth in a hollow tree, rocky bluff, cave, or secluded thicket to usually 1 but sometimes up to 4 kittens. The kittens are born with their spots but have gray coats and blue eyes that turn golden brown when they’re about three months old. The youngster begins to walk when it is 3 weeks old. As the kitten grows, the mother ocelot teaches it how to hunt, usually at four to 6 weeks of age, and the kitten is able to eat solid food at 8 weeks, although it may continue to nurse for 6 months. The kittens may stay in the mother’s home range for up to 2 years.
Although some populations are small and unstable, the Ocelot is widespread but the general population trend is now decreasing due to habitat loss. It is estimated that there are anywhere from 800,000 to 1.5 million left. The collective name for a group of Ocelots is a clowder or clutter.
Adapted from the Website: justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-ocelots/