8 Things You Should Know About Ocelots in Guatemala

Many people confuse these cute felines with domestic cats. In Guatemala, these guys can be found in the Tikal National Park. But before you take them as a pet, there are some facts you should know about ocelots.

In many places around the world, owning an ocelot as a pet is totally legal, but that doesn’t mean you should have one. They are wild cats and have instincts, you should be careful. Usually, they aren’t aggressive, but sometimes they can be when having babies around.


Facts about Ocelots

1. The ocelot’s appearance is similar to a domestic cat. Its fur resembles a Clouded Leopard or Jaguar and was once regarded as particularly valuable.

2. These guys receive many names and some are: Painted Leopard, McKenney’s Wildcat, Jaguatirica (in Brazil), Jaguarete (in Paraguay and Argentina), Tigrillo (in Ecuador), Cunaguaro (in Venezuela), or Manigordo (in Costa Rica and Panama).

3. Ocelots hunt over a range of 18 km2, taking mostly small animals like deer, various rodents, reptiles, and amphibians lizards, turtles, frogs, crabs, birds, and fish. Almost all of the prey that the ocelot hunts is far smaller than itself.

4. Ocelots can live 8 to 11 years.

5. The ocelot is mostly nocturnal and very territorial. It will fight fiercely, sometimes to the death, in territorial disputes. In addition, the ocelot marks its territory with special urine. Like most felines, it is solitary, usually meeting only to mate. They are quite difficult to spot while doing wildlife watching.

6. During the day, it rests in trees or other dense foliage, and will occasionally share its spot with another ocelot of the same sex.

7. Thousands of ocelots have been killed for their fur. The feline was classified a vulnerable species from 1972 until 1996, but gladly is now rated “least concern”.

Discover the top wildlife and big cat viewing in Guatemala.

8. It follows and finds prey via odor trails, but the ocelot also has very good vision, including night vision. The white rings around the ocelot’s eyes help to reflect extra light into the eye at night.

Last Updated on May 31, 2022

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