The ocelot is one of the most beautiful wild cats of the American continent. Shy and territorial, it spends its days snoozing in the trees and hunting all over the place at night. Zoom on a small feline with the false airs of jaguar.
The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is a carnivorous mammal belonging to the feline family. It forms with other species of wild cats the genus Leopardus. There are twelve subspecies of ocelots, which are differentiated geographically. The felid lives in South and Central America, but it is also found in the United States, in the southeast of Texas.
Boas, big cats (jaguar, puma) and harpies (raptors) are among the main natural enemies of the ocelot. In the 60s and 70s, the animal was massively hunted for its fur, dramatically reducing its total population. Its listing on CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and a change in mentality have halted its decline. The ocelot’s habitat remains threatened by deforestation, which makes its prey scarce. The feline – now protected in most of its range – is still subject to poaching. The animal can live up to ten years in the wild and about twenty years in captivity.