Guest Blogger Carolyn Jess Saves Ocelots

We have invited Carolyn Jess back to help us out as guest blogger in 2013 with a focus on native wildlife. Jess is a 12 year old student who has agreed to be our special guest blogger about wildlife conservation. We first met Carolyn in October 2011 when she came out to the Zoo to meet our special guest Jack Hannah. If you would like to contact Carolyn or have comments, you may send them to

It has been six years  since I started asking my friends and family to donate money for ocelot research instead of giving me birthday gifts.  My 13th birthday is almost here and I will again ask my friends and family to help the endangered ocelot.   If you have not heard of the ocelot, they live in the scrub lands of south Texas, have a home range of about 4 square miles and are very close to extinction.  The loss of their habitat and new highways are the biggest reasons this cat is disappearing.  As more land is cleared for agriculture and development, more ocelots are being killed on the roads.    Basically, the ocelot is trapped.  It has developments or highways on all sides.  Sometimes the ocelots make it across busy highways to private ranches, but they don’t always make it past the cars.    Due to the isolation of our small Texas population of ocelots, they may be gone in the next 50 years.   Dr. Mike Tewes, who works at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M in Kingsville, is studying and monitoring the cats’ population on ranches and the dense shrub areas where they make their homes.  For the past six years, I’ve sent my birthday money to Dr. Tewes to help with his research.  He uses the money I send to buy and set up remote cameras which help him and other scientists record the number of ocelots found in an area.  Dr. Tewes and his team manage to capture ocelots to vaccinate and radio collar them.  He has gotten ranchers to set aside land for the cats and to restore brush lands.  Dr. Tewes is also working on possibly relocating ocelots from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas for breeding in Texas.

If you would like to take action and help the ocelot, there are a lot of different things you can do. I talked with my student council members at school and we decided to have a bake sale to benefit ocelot research.   Our goal was to not only make money for the remote cameras, but to raise awareness. Talk to your clubs and organizations at school to come up with an idea to help this cat.   If you would like to donate to ocelot research, you can visit my website,, and there is a link that takes you directly to Caesar Kleberg.

Comments are closed.

Search Blog & Website
Subscribe to Houston Zoo News
Get the latest stories and updates from the Zoo in your inbox! Find out how: Houston Zoo News
Houston Zoo Facebook Page

Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: I'm still using this.
... See MoreSee Less


Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: Im still using this.


Comment on Facebook

Are there some zoo animals that enjoy this weather?

SMG is another reason why Houston Zoo is the best Zoo!

Are we positive that’s the statue rather than it really just being that cold? 😛

More snow for TJ and Max ❤️ lucky them!

That’s my best friend Sophie for ya! 😂


Omg the Zoo is so awesome 😂😂😂 Alana Berry

Omg be warm sweetoe

Haha!! Good one!

Sweetie 💞

Ashley Jucker 😂

Mike DePope

+ View more comments

We've heard of stalagmites but is stalagmice a thing? ... See MoreSee Less


Weve heard of stalagmites but is stalagmice a thing?


Comment on Facebook

Ok, it took me a minute to get this. I was literally zooming in to try to find the mouse. 🤦🏻‍♀️🙄😂

Cindy Christina Angela Ramirez see I told y’all! Lol

I fell for the mouse thing too..

“Baby it’s cold outside!”

That's nothing! Talk to keepers from the northern states or Canada!

i was honestly looking for a mouse lol

Johnnie R. Summerlin, cool, see the "stalagm ice"?

Wow,that is so neat!

Annecia Wesley but where is the ice bacon? Lol

Two words. Pipe insulation.

That’s awesome!

Ana Rivers Smith cool!


Pauline Ervin

Denise Daigre

Ashley Nguyen

Vicente Gonzalez

+ View more comments

Brrrr. It’s cold out there! We have made the decision to close the Houston Zoo tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 17. Don’t worry, the animals are safe and warm in their night houses!

A limited number of staff from departments like Animal Programs, Safety and Security and Operations/Facilities will be onsite to perform essential services and have the Zoo ready for us to reopen Thursday morning.

A big ol' high-five to our awesome team members who braved this icy cold to come in and care for our animals and zoo facilities.
... See MoreSee Less



Comment on Facebook

Safety and welfare of the animals first! Thanks guys for all you do.

Yes thank you for everything yall do to keep the animals safe .. y'all keep safe and warm

Thank you for taking good care of our animals!

Thank u for keeping those Babies safe and warm!❤️

Thank you for all you do!

Thank you for ZOO LIGHTS. it was amazing this year!

Thank you, zoo team. Stay safe!

Mandy Rinker— really? Too cold? You’re from the Midwest girl


thank you for all you do and keep the furry babies warm


Thank you for taking care of our precious animals that we love to come see!

Thank you for keeping those beautiful animals safe. 💕

Thank you for making sure the animals are safe and warm.

Thank you for all you do for these amazing animals!!

Go, Erika!!!

Thank you 💕


+ View more comments