Saving the American Ocelot
The Animal Health Department at the Gladys Porter Zoo is actively involved in assisting US Fish and Wildlife Services with ocelot health monitoring at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (LANWR). When an ocelot is trapped, a GPZ veterinarian will go to LANWR to give the ocelot a physical exam and full medical work-up. This includes a battery of testing to determine overall health and to detect internal and external parasites and infectious diseases.
The ocelot is listed as a federally endangered animal. The only ocelot population on public land in the USA is the less than 30 animals thought to be at LANWR. These animals live exclusively in thorn scrub habitat and their habitat and thus their populations are diminishing rapidly. The Gladys Porter Zoo also supports and is active in the Bi-national Ocelot Recovery Project. For more information on LANWR and other Rio Grande Valley wildlife refuges see: www.friendsofsouthtexasrefuges.org.