Zuma the Ocelot

Scientific Name: Leopardus Pardalis

Status: Endangered

Zuma's Story: Zuma, our resident Ocelot, came from another nonprofit wildlife organization that specializes in breeding endangered cats. Zuma is most comfortable at home and only makes special appearances on rare occasions.

Facts: Ocelots are one of the largest species of the small spotted cats. Males are slightly larger than females weighing up to 35 pounds. They feed on small mammals, birds, and even reptiles. Ocelots are excellent climbers, jumpers, and swimmers. Ocelots are largely nocturnal animals with big eyes that enable them to see well in dim light.

Range: Ocelots are found throughout Central and South America. They once roamed the southwest portion of the United States, but presently there are less than one hundred ocelots surviving in southern Texas. Ocelots have home ranges of 1 to 4 square miles.

Conservation: These striking animals are endangered primarily for 2 reasons. First, the ocelot's habitats are rapidly being cleared for farmland and the growth of cities. Second, the demand for ocelot fur is still dreadfully high. It can take the lives of 12 ocelots to make one fur coat.

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