The name “ocelot” comes from the Latin “cellatus” meaning having little eyes or marked with eye-like spots. Historically, ocelots ranged through Arkansas and Louisiana in addition to Texas, but fewer than 100 remain in the southern tip of Texas. Habitat restoration is likely a key to saving this species in Texas.
- Scientific Name: Leopardus pardalis
- Range: Found in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as in the southern tip of Texas.
- Status in the Wild: Globally ocelots are not threatened, but here in Texas fewer than 100 ocelots remain in their native habitat.
- Location in the Zoo: Carnivore Habitats
- Cool Animal Fact: Unlike most other cats, ocelots can turn their ankle joints around, allowing them to climb down a tree head first.