If you want to see one of the rarest cats in the United States, then this coming weekend is your opportunity. The 20th annual Ocelot Conservation Day is set for Sunday, March 3rd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville.
There is only one breeding population of endangered ocelots remaining in the United States, and they cling to a precarious existence here in deep South Texas.
Christopher Quezada is the Visitor Services Park Ranger for Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and the organizer for this year’s event. “Our partners from the Texas Zoo were kind enough to bring down two ocelots called Laguna and Clyde. The ocelots will have three performances. One at 10:30, 11:30 and 2:00.”
Attendance to the Ocelot Day performances on Sunday is free with paid admission to the zoo. In addition to Sunday’s appearances at the zoo, there will also be an opportunity to see the ocelots and learn about Ocelot Conservation on Saturday.
Christopher Quezada, “On Saturday we will have Afternoon with an Ocelot. This is everybody’s chance that maybe can’t make it out to the conservation day, or if you have some spare time, come down to the Longhorn Cattle Company in San Benito, and we will be there from 12:00 to 6:00.”
The protection and enhancement of the endangered ocelot in South Texas is a major focus for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with private landowners and the public.
Christopher Quezada, “At Laguna Atascosa right now we have about 11 ocelots, but we also have to remember that the population is at about 80. It is not just that we have cats at Laguna Atascosa. They range anywhere from the river all the way up to the ranches in Willacy County and the counties further up, all the way up to the King Ranch.”