Meet Esperanza! Her name means ‘Hope' in Spanish, which is appropriate as she is the first female on the Refuge to ever be photographed with a kitten!
In fact, she has successfully raised three kittens since Refuge biologists first captured her in February 2008. Her first kitten, a young male, is about to move on to establish his own territory, which is a very dangerous time in an ocelot's life. The black and white image of the kitten below is one of a litter of two. After reviewing thousands of trip camera images (purchased with funds from the Adopt an Ocelot program), biologists realized the coat patterns were different and Esperanza had given birth to two. The kittensare no longer with her though they remain in her territory. In Dec. 2010, biologistscaptured one of the two, a young female. She was too small to radio collar but they collected important information and the young female appears to be healthy. Little is known about her litter mate.Esperanza is a healthy female who is a good mother in her prime. She provides real hope for the survival of ocelots in the United States!
Adonis, ‘Handsome Youth', is also currently being tracked in the northern portion of the Bayside Drive area. He seems to like having his picture taken and has been photographed a number of times by remote trip cameras. He is a young male that was also first captured in February 2008 near the road entering the Laguna Atascosa NWR. He is confident and playful, and seems to know he is one of the "up and coming" cats of the population. Biologists estimate that he is also three to four years old and in prime condition, weighing in at 22 pounds. He is the charming and handsome adult male in town!
Esperanza, her kittens and Adonis are currently available for adoption. An ocelot sponsorship is a wonderful gift for friends and family!
An adoption packet will be mailed to you. It will include: a certificate of adoption suitable for framing; information on what is being done to ensure ocelots will be around for a long time; and, updates on other ocelots found on the Laguna Atascosa NWR. Adopt an ocelot for someone you love!
Individual Ocelot $ 50.00
Family of Ocelot $ 75.00
Funds raised through the Adopt-an-Ocelot program have paid for:
• Wildlife guzzlers that provide an important source of water to ocelots and other wildlife during drought conditions.
• Trip cameras, which allow biologists to find out where ocelots are traveling, collect data on their general health and well being, gather information on which ocelots are in the area, as well as help identify individuals.
• Special events to raise awareness about the ocelot for school programs and special presentations for agencies whose programs may affect the future of ocelots.
• Important supplies that allow biologists to safely trap ocelots, weigh them, check their reproductive condition, as well monitor their dispersal, behavior and habitat needs.
Keep in touch with current ocelot happenings on our ocelot page on Facebook - Viva the Ocelot!
For more information about the Adopt An Ocelot program, please call the Friends at 956-748-3607 or download an Information Package Here.