Audubon Zoo celebrates reopening, new addition of rare ocelot kitten
NEW ORLEANS - As the Audubon Zoo reopens its doors to the public, zoo workers are also welcoming a brand new male ocelot kitten into the fold.
The rare animal, who was born on May 6 to parents "Milagre" and "Joaquin,” will have to wait a couple of months before he can officially meet his adoring public.
The zoo's veterinarian team would rather not have the little guy on public view while he's being cared for. They expect him to be ready for his public habitat in about 8 weeks, once all rounds of vaccinations have been administered.
Until then, Audubon will continue to share updates on social media regarding his name and debut date.
Ocelots, a wild cat species about twice the size of the average domestic feline, are known for their striking dappled coats.
They're typically found in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America and were as nearly driven to extinction in the 20th century by hunters who killed them for their fur.
With regulatory measures now in place, the ocelot has recovered and is no longer considered endangered. Some ocelot populations, however, are small and unstable–particularly in Texas–and numbers are decreasing due to deforestation, habitat destruction, and poaching.
Animal-lovers are welcomed back to the Audubon Zoo following its closure due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
The zoo is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry of the day at 3:30 p.m.
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