A rare Ocelot kitten born on June 26 made her public debut this week at the Dallas Zoo!
With her mother Milagre by her side, Lindy gingerly explored her outdoor habitat for the first time last week. She scampered over rocks, chased bugs, and stared wide-eyed at the visitors who were watching her.
Lindy and Milagre have spent the last two months in seclusion in their den. Milagre is still very protective of her baby and keeps Lindy close most of the time. But as Lindy grows, expect her to become bolder and Milagre to become more relaxed.
Lindy is the third Ocelot kitten ever born at the Dallas Zoo and the first since 2001. Only a few Ocelot kittens are born in U.S. zoos each year. Milagre, age 4, came to Dallas from Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, while the kitten’s father, Joaquin, age 5, came from the Oklahoma City Zoological Park. Both were brought to the Dallas Zoo in April 2011 on the recommendation of the Ocelot Species Survival Plan, with hopes that they would reproduce. Ocelot kittens typically weigh less than half a pound when born. At four weeks old, Lindy weighed two pounds.
Wild Ocelots occur naturally in Texas, but experts believe that only about 50 of these predators remain in the wilds of the state. Ocelots are widespread in Central and South America, where they prefer areas of dense vegetation.