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Friday, October 3, 2008

Ocelot kittens born

For the first time in 15 years, we are celebrating the birth of endangered ocelots! Two kittens were born last week. They are the first offspring of mother Bella, 7 years old, and father Brazil, 12 years old. The gender of the kittens is unknown at this time.

To minimize disturbance, staff have minimal physical contact with the new family and are monitoring the mother and kittens in the birthing den via an internal web cam only (from which these screenshots were taken). Things are going well with this first-time mother. She is providing round-the-clock care and demonstrating excellent maternal skills. The kittens are active and nursing regularly.

It’s critical at this time to give the mother and kittens their time and space to bond and develop healthily, so the kittens will not be on public view for at least six to eight weeks. We hope to be able to update soon with photos and/or video.

You can still catch the father, Brazil, on view in the award-winning Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

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