International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

Ocelots in Arizona? Apparently So…

There have two recent developments in regards to ocelots in the United States, specifically in the state of Arizona.  The first being the ocelot that was captured on film by the Sky Island Alliance in November 7, 2009 (although the photo was retrieved and made public on April 19, 2010) in Cochise County.  Although, there is an existing ocelot population in Texas, this was the first documented wild ocelot captured on film alive in Arizona.  Cochise County is located on the southeastern corner of the state of Arizona and the area is approximately 2000 miles from the area where the Texas ocelots are located.

The second incident involved an ocelot found dead (apparently killed by a motorist) in Globe on April 18,2010 and reported by the Arizona Game and Fish Department on April 23, 2010.  It seemed like these two events might be linked.  Was it the same ocelot?  Or was it another wild ocelot in Arizona?  Or was the Globe ocelot an escaped or released captive animal?  Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensic Lab (located in Ashland, Oregon) is conducting DNA analysis on the Globe ocelot to determine the origins of the cat.

After reviewing photos of both cats, Jessica Lamberton, the Wildlife Linkages Program Coordinator with the Sky Island Alliance, does not believe that they are the same cat.  In additional, Lamberton indicates that her organization has records of 6 individual ocelots that have been filmed in the Sonora area (a state in northwestern Mexico).  The outcome of the US Fish and Wildlife investigation is greatly anticipated and as more information becomes available, it will be dispersed.

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