Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ocelot Cub Update

While we are on the subject of the NC Zoo, I thought I would field some of the questions concerning the ocelot cub link I shared some time ago on Facebook. The twin cubs were born last April. So, I checked in with some of my friends over at the zoo to find out how the little tikes are doing.

Laura Valadez, supervisor for the Sonora Desert Exhibit, where the ocelots live, says both juveniles are doing great. And, they aren't so little any more. In fact, their mother is on the small side for adult ocelots, and it wasn't long before the cubs were too big for her to pick up. So, she had to make do by dragging them around the exhibit to move them.

Many have been curious to know what will happen to the cubs now that they are almost grown. Each endangered species housed in accredited captive facilities like the NC Zoo is part of what is called a A Species Survival Plan (SSP). Each plan has usually several coordinators and a Taxon Advisory Group (TAG). Careful records are kept on the genetics, health, and history of each animal in captivity so that recommendations can be made by the SSP for where each animal would best be placed. The animals are then relocated to other facilities to assure continued breeding success and genetic viability of that captive species.

Valadez reports that the NC Zoo is still awaiting these recommendations. The meetings are scheduled to take place next month. The NC Zoo will then discuss these with the other recommended facilities listed and make plans for the juveniles to be shipped to their new homes accordingly. In the meantime, the juveniles have already grown until they are difficult to tell apart from their parents. Here's a current image.

Thanks to Tom Gillespie and Brigitte Thompson for providing the photos.

1 comment:

Andi said...

You just had to, didn't you? You knew I would AWWW myself to infinity if I saw those pics. OMG! I know they are not ideal housemates, but ohhhh how I would love one for a pal. I know, I know-- stinky little cuties. But cute, nonetheless.

I am so happy they are doing well.