Ocelot is a mammal from the genus of feline cats. As you know, Salvador Dali had a favorite ocelot named Babou.
This strong, slender cat has a body weight of 10 to 16 kg, a length of 1 - 1.4 m and a height at the withers of up to 50 cm. The body is relatively long and the limbs are quite powerful. The tail of the cat is relatively short.Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis).
On a slightly flattened head are fairly short ears. The pupils of the eyes are oval, and the eyes themselves are large.
The coat of the cat is brownish-yellow with numerous black spots in the shape of rings.
The color of the fur inside the rings, on the skin of an ocelot, is darker than outside.
Closer to the shoulders and neck, the spots become more like stripes, and closer to the paws on dark dots. The cat's chin and belly are white. On the back of the black ears there are quite large white spots. Outwardly, the ocelot is very similar to a leopard cub.
The natural habitat of this cat is the Central and Northern regions of South America. In the north, the range is limited to the state of Texas, USA. Ocelot is also found in the south of the US state of Arizona. In open spaces, as a rule, this cat does not live. The entire population is concentrated in the forests of the tropical climatic zone.
Outwardly, the ocelot may resemble a leopard cub.
Ocelots are territorial animals. The area of the range of the average male is 31 km2, and that of the female is 14 km2. In this case, the habitats of males and females may intersect.
These cats lead a solitary lifestyle. The activity of the animal is most often observed at night. Ocelots see perfectly in the dark, which makes night hunting very effective. In the afternoon, ocelots rest and hide from the sun in various shelters, such as tree hollows.
Despite the fact that this cat is perfectly able to climb stones and trees, most of the time she hunts on the surface of the earth. There are several ways of hunting in the ocelot arsenal. The animal tracks small prey from the thickets of terrestrial vegetation. The large victim is ambushed, often on trees. Having chosen the victim, the ocelot abruptly rushes at it and kills it with one deadly bite.
Large ocelots also overpower small donkeys and pigs.
Puberty comes to male ocelot at the age of 30 months. Females become sexually mature much earlier, after 18 months of their life.
Basically, the ocelot eats small animals such as iguanas, a variety of rodents, rabbits, birds and snakes. However, sometimes the largest individuals of this species of cats attack small boars and even donkeys.
The teeth of this cat are tripled so that it was convenient for her to get meat food.
However, the structure of the teeth of the ocelot has its own characteristics. In the ocelot’s arsenal there are like fangs with which a cat inflicts deadly bites to its victim,
and sharp incisors that help the ocelot to carve prey after a successful hunt. As you can see, the animal’s teeth are not suitable for chewing, so he has to swallow food in pieces.
Reproduction of ocelots
Ocelots mating is not tied to any season, and can occur at any time of the year.
The female carries the calf for about 10 weeks, after which it gives birth in secluded places, such as bushes, caves and tree hollows.
In a litter, usually one, less often two cubs that are born blind,
and virtually no fur. The ability to see an ocelot in cubs appears approximately two weeks after birth.
For about 6-7 weeks, the female feeds her offspring with milk. After this period, the cubs gradually switch to solid food.In order to increase the population of ocelots, their catch and shooting is prohibited.
For a long period of time, the skin of this cat has been a very popular and valuable commodity.
Ocelot hunting is currently prohibited by multiple interstate agreements.
According to some reports, in the year 1969 alone, more than 133,000 skins of these animals were imported.
A live ocelot in the 1980s as a pet could be purchased for $ 800, and a fur coat from his fur cost $ 40,000. All this led to a significant reduction in the population of these cats. Any items made from hides and any other parts of the animal are prohibited by international agreements.