Rare Photos of Young Ocelots in South Texas Gives Hope to Species
The ocelot is an extremely endangered species that lives in south Texas. They are beautiful creatures that are rarely seen because of their nocturnal nature. But with some recent trail camera photos of some young ocelots, a glimmer of hope has been seen for the species.
Texas Parks and Wildlife recently shared a photo of a young, possibly juvenile, ocelot from the Rio Grande Valley.
Ocelots make their home in south Texas. Their name comes from the Aztec word tlalocelot which translates to field tiger. When you get a close look at an ocelot, its markings do resemble that of a tiger. They are so beautiful.
These recent photos were captured in a portion of south Texas run by the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Since 2019, the refuge has recorded a bit of a baby boom amongst the ocelot population in the refuge.
This is a pretty big deal as only about 50-80 ocelots are left in south Texas. That's the entire population in the country. What's sad is that the main threat to the ocelot isn't humans driving them out of their native environment or even pollution, it's wandering out onto a dark highway and getting hit by a vehicle.
To help alleviate this problem, tunnels have been built underneath the highways so they can cross safely. Trail camera footage has been captured of ocelots using the tunnels which brings even more excitement for the survival of the species.
Unfortunately, we won't be seeing these beautiful creatures in the wild in east Texas. We would more likely see bobcats in this area which could easily be confused for an ocelot. Here's to hoping the continued efforts at the refuge can bring this species back to prominence.