The ocelot ( Leopardus pardalis), also known as the dwarf leopard, is a wild cat distributed extensively within South America including the islands of Trinidad and Margarita, Central America, and Mexico. It has been reported as far north as Texas.North of Mexico, it is found regularly only in the extreme southern part of Texas, although there are rare sightings in southern Arizona.
The ocelot is similar in appearance to a domestic cat. Its fur resembles that of a clouded leopard or jaguar and was once regarded as particularly valuable. As a result, hundreds of thousands of ocelots were once killed for their fur. The feline was classified as a vulnerable species from 1972 until 1996, and is now listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Photographer: B Williams