There is something truly magical about kittens. And when it comes to big cat kittens, cat lovers like us get all warm and fuzzy inside. For two ocelots at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana, they are bringing hope to their species with the birth of their son. On May 6, 2020, parents Milagre and Joaquin welcomed a single male kitten to the world. The Audubon Zoo released the exciting update about this new kitten this week. After being closed to the public for nearly three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ocelot kitten will be a must-see for many patrons eager to take a peek at this precious kitten.
Regarding the well-being of the rare ocelot kitten and his mother, animal care team member Kylie Linke said in a press release that,
“The mother and kitten are doing great and he is eating like a champ. Milagre has been very accepting of us weighing him and always is ready to carry him back into the den when we’re done. He’s gone from around 200g at birth to now weighing more than 700g in just three short weeks! We’re already seeing personality and he’s just starting to zoom around on his own.”
Linke also said that, “He doesn’t have a name yet, but he’s already stolen our hearts!”
The Audubon Zoo shared this heartwarming news on their Facebook page this week, saying that:
You’ve gotta be KITTEN ME! 😍
A rare, male ocelot kitten was born at the Zoo on May 6, 2020, to parents “Milagre” and “Joaquin.” Milagre (“miracle’’ in Portuguese) and Joaquin came to Audubon Zoo in 2017 from the Dallas Zoo. The kitten’s birth comes as part of Audubon’s participation in The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Brazilian ocelots. Native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America, the ocelot was nearly driven to extinction in the 20th century by hunters who saw great profit in its lustrous fur coat.
The kitten is not currently on public view while it is being cared for. The veterinarian team expects the ocelot to be ready for his public habitat in about 8 weeks after all rounds of vaccinations have been administered. Stay tuned to our social media for updates regarding his name and debut date.
The kitten who has yet to be named will not be made viewable to the public for approximately eight more weeks, once he has received all his necessary vaccinations. He is being weighed twice weekly because his mother, Milagre, had mammary gland issues when nursing a previous litter. All are doing well, and this kitten seems to be in great hands and thriving.
Check out this adorable clip courtesy of the Audubon Zoo of the new ocelot kitten being oh-so-darn cute!
Audubon Nature Institute board and Zemurray Foundation board member Ludovico Feoli said that,
“What joyous news to share as the Zoo reopens its doors to the public. A birth like this serves as an important reminder of the spirit of hope and renewal inherent in all life. Like his parents, this kitten will serve as an important ambassador for the animals of Central and South America to the people of New Orleans. My family and I are delighted that our support of Jaguar Jungle could help bring this new life into the world to inspire thousands of Zoo visitors to make a positive impact on wildlife across the globe.”
Welcome to the world, sweet baby! Here’s to hoping that you can bring some happiness and hope to many. If you’d to learn more about the Audubon Zoo and the work they are doing to help protect our animal friends, you can visit their website here.
Just last week, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area shared some uplifting news that many are finding a purrfectly unexpected surprise: the birth of three mountain lion kittens! See their precious photos here.
All Images Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute