A set of new spots and striping has appeared at Woodland Park Zoo with the birth of an ocelot. The single kitten was born on January 15 at the zoo, marking the second litter between mother Bella, and father Brazil. The mother and kitten are off public view in a birthing den where they are being monitored via a web cam:
Like in the wild, mother ocelots care for their young alone. The kitten’s father can be seen in the zoo's Tropical Rain Forest.
“We are minimizing physical contact to avoid any disturbance to the new family and to allow natural bonding,” explained Woodland Park Zoo Curator Mark Myers. “Bella’s an experienced mother and she’s providing excellent round-the-clock and protective maternal care".
The kitten is nursing regularly and has a healthy, round belly. The gender of the newborn has not been confirmed. The kitten will not be on public view for at least another month and a half. As they become available, video and images will be on the zoo’s website at www.zoo.org and YouTube.
Ocelots are small spotted cats that range throughout Mexico, Central and South America to northern Argentina, with remnant populations in the southwestern United States. The secretive, nocturnal cats are three to four times the size of an average domestic house cat, weighing on average 24-35 pounds and averaging 2½ to 5 feet in length.