Ocelot kittens for saleby Hugh Holub on Feb. 12, 2011, under environment water and energy, politics
In the wake of news than an ocelot was sighted in Sierra Vista recetly (which will no doubt lead to the Center For Biological Diversity suing to have the ocelot declared an endangered species in Arzona and demand a Habitat Conservation Plan aimed at closing Fort Huachuca…. you can buy your very own ocelot kitten here.
An ocelot, one of the rarest big cats on this side of the world, wandered near a home in southern Arizona’s Huachuca Mountains this week and sought temporary refuge in a tree to avoid a barking dog.
The cat was unhurt Tuesday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department reported, and finally climbed down from the tree after a state wildlife officer photographed it and recorded the sighting.
Ocelots are small- to medium-size cats, with dark spots and long, curling tails that help them climb trees.
They have been protected by the federal Endangered Species Act since 1982, but they live mainly in the lowlands of Mexico and Central and South America.
Tuesday’s sighting is significant because ocelots are almost never seen in Arizona.
One was killed by a car near Globe last April, but questions arose about whether it was a cat kept captive by someone in the area.
The Sky Island Alliance reported photographing an ocelot in 2009, but wildlife officials could not verify the details of the cat in the picture.
A man was working in his yard in the Huachucas on Tuesday when he saw his dog barking at what appeared to be a big cat, state officials said.
The cat climbed a tree and, at that point, the man got a closer look. He called Game and Fish.
The Game and Fish officer inspected the cat as closely as he could and confirmed it was an ocelot.
The officer saw no injuries and no evidence that the dog and ocelot had interacted, the agency said. The officer took pictures, collected scat samples and cleared the area until the ocelot could climb down and leave.
State and federal wildlife officials will study the pictures and the location to determine whether the ocelot lives in the wild or escaped captivity.