On January 14th, the Sao Paulo Zoo in Brazil welcomed a new resident, a male baby Oncilla named Poli. (It's pronounced AWN-sill-uh, by the way.) The cub’s mother, Luiza, is one of the last melanistic Oncilla remaining in captivity today. Melanism is a genetic mutation causing dark pigmentation, so rather than being spotted, Luiza’s coat is entirely black. Despite the mother’s mutation, Poli was born with the more common spotted fur pattern.
Soon after the birth, Luiza rejected her baby, so Poli was bottle-fed by zoo staff. Now with four and a half months old, Poli is already fully weaned, healthy and continues to grow strong. (These photos were taken on March 15th and May 21st).
See and learn more after the fold!