Another young ocelot has been found at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, making it the second juvenile ocelot discovered this year.
Officials at the refuge said the young male is believed to be 12 to 14 months old. He was recently captured on the refuge.
This ocelot seems to appear healthy, wildlife biologist Hilary Swarts said. The refuge has about 50 cameras on the refuge that are used to track the ocelots.
Because the cat’s coat pattern did not match any of the other ocelots from the refuge’s collection of trip cameras, officials knew that he must be a newly found ocelot.
“Each ocelot has a unique coat pattern like a human fingerprint,” Swarts said. “This is new young one and his patterns didn’t match anybody we already have (on camera).”
Swarts said although the ocelot is a juvenile, it will more than likely travel alongside its mother for about a year. Another ocelot, a female, was discovered on the refuge in March. Swarts said the fact that two ocelots have now been found leads officials to believe that there could be more ocelots in the area that have yet to be detected. The current number of ocelots on the refuge is 12, with five females and seven males. The estimated number of ocelots in Texas is less than 50.