Description: The ocelot is a medium-sized spotted wild cat that reaches 40–50 cm at the shoulders and weighs between 7 and 15.5 kg on average.
Common Name: Leopardus pardalis
Family: Felidae
Habitats: It inhabits tropical forests, thorn forests, mangrove swamps and savannas. A 2019 study in the Brazilian Amazon showed that it prefers habitats with good availability of prey and water, and tends to avoid other predators.
Range: The ocelot ranges from the southwestern United States to northern Argentina, up to an elevation of 3,000 m. In the United States, it is found in Texas and Arizona, and is extirpated from Louisiana and Arkansas.

The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is primarily found in the forests throughout Costa Rica. Being relatively large for a cat, the spotted feline is only out grown by the Jaguar and Puma. It has large paws which have granted it the Spanish name mano gordo (fat hand). These “fat hands” allow for the cat to swiftly climb trees and cross streams with ease. The base color of its coat can be grayish to cinnamon, with black spots that form streaks on the neck or elongated spots on the body. Its tail is marked with incomplete bands. Each individual has a unique coat pattern. In the past, ocelots have been devastated by the fur traders. In the 80’s, 130,000+ pelts were sent to the United States alone. It is illegal to import spotted furs now, but it now faces habitat destruction as most of the Costa Rican cats do. The ocelot hunts prey from small rodents to iguanas and peccaries. This cat is very secretive and is not usually seen. These beautiful cats are nocturnal and sleep in trees during the day. Keep your eyes on the trees and you may see one!

The most important animal species of


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