Apr 072011


The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), pronounced /ˈɒsəˌlɒt/, also known as the dwarf leopard or McKenney’s wildcat[citation needed] is a wild cat distributed over South and Central America and Mexico, but has been reported as far north as Texas and in Trinidad, in the Caribbean. North of Mexico, it is found regularly only in the extreme southern part of Texas,[3] although there are rare sightings in Southern Arizona.[4]

The ocelot is similar in appearance to a domestic cat. Its fur resembles that of a clouded leopard or jaguar and was once regarded as particularly valuable. As a result, hundreds of thousands of ocelots were once killed for their fur. The feline was classified a “vulnerable” endangered species from 1972 until 1996, but is now rated “least concern” by the 2008 IUCN Red List.