Also known as the Dwarf leopard or Painted leopard, ocelots are South American wild cats with 10 subspecies. Once valued for its fur, thousands of these animals had been killed on a regular basis. The cat was listed as a ‘Vulnerable’ from 1972 until 1996. It is now listed as ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List.

Scientific Name – Leopardus pardalis

Classification – Leopardus

Gender Names – Male – tomcat; Female – queen; Baby – kitten

Collective Noun – clutter, clowder, kindle (kittens)

Length/Size – 55cm – 100cm (22in – 40in)

Weight – 11.5kg – 16kg (25lbs – 35lbs)

Top Speed – 61kph (38mph)

Life Expectancy – 8 – 12 years; up to 21 in captivity

Mating Season  Varies across regions and subspecies

Gestation Period – 79 – 82 days

Special Features  Rosettes, spots and stripes on fur

Social Structure – Completely solitary

Geographical Distribution – Subspecies distributed extensively within South America

Natural Habitat – Tropical forest, thorn forest, mangrove swamps and savanna

World Population – 800,000

Conservation Status – Least Concern, Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Critically Endangered, Endangered

Diet – Rodents, Lizards, Deer

Predators – Jaguar, Puma, Harpy Eagle