Sunday, December 2, 2007

Endangered Brazilian Ocelot Kitten Born: Birth Significant For Species

An endangered Brazilian ocelot kitten was born at the Louisville Zoo Sept. 23. This was the first offspring for mom Miguela and second for father Itirapua.

The birth is very significant and important for the species. There are only 26 Brazilian ocelots in American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) institutions nationwide. The birth is also notable because of the passing on of Itirapua’s vital founder stock genetic diversity.

When Itirapua’s mother, who lived in the wild, was hit by a car, she was taken to a local animal hospital where Itirapua was born. He was named after that local Brazilian town—Itirapua. He is known as Itty for short.

“There are only seven Brazilian ocelots considered founder stock in AZA institutions,” said Louisville Zoo Assistant Animal Curator Candy McMahan. “So Itty’s genes are critical for the species.”

El Conquistador garnered his name when at 2 days old he wandered from his mother’s side and squeezed through fencing into a hallway for keeper staff on the back side of the exhibit.

“And he did all this when he was unable to see,” McMahan laughed. “He was so young, his eyes were still closed. So, we named him El Conquistador because he is definitely an explorer and conqueror.”

Ocelots are a new species to the Louisville Zoo, just arriving earlier this summer.

Full Story

No comments: