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Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Life in Managed Care

Breeding in Managed Care

  • Reproductive physiology not well studied
    • Historically, reproductive success low in managed care for small cats like margays, tigrinas, and ocelots (Moreira et al. 2001)
  • Estrus cycle
    • Apparently cycle every month of the year
      • Ocelots may have periods of ovarian inactivity of unknown causes, according to a study of individuals in Brazilian institutions,  (Moreira et al. 2001)
        • Possibly due to inappropriate social or husbandry conditions
  • Artificial insemination (AI)
    • First successful oviductal AI in 2011
      • Project initiated by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
      • Resulting kitten represents one of only 30 endangered ocelots of the Brazilian subspecies L. p. mitis, at the time

Housing and Care

  • Enclosures and habitats
    • Minimum sizes, based on felid's weight of 10-20 kg (22-48.5 lb) (Mellen 1997)
      • 4 x 2 x 2.5 m (13 x 6.5 x 8 ft)
    • Structural complexity deemed more important than size: (Mellen 1997)
      • Vertical space should be available
      • Perching platform at top of space is important
      • Localized heating areas preferred
      • Logs for sharpening claws needed

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

Ocelot on a log

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Kaemmerer et al. (2011)
Mansard (1990)
Mellen (1997)
Moreira et al. (2001)

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