Oz and Evita, the Greenville Zoo’s ocelot pair, welcomed their second litter on March 8 – an announcement zoo staff has delayed making until now to give the two kittens time to mature. They are now old enough to be introduced to zoo guests and will join their mother on exhibit this week. Oz, who will be kept separate while the kittens continue to mature, will remain in the regular ocelot exhibit and Evita and her kittens will occupy the first exhibit as you enter the South America area. The gender of the kittens will be determined during their neonatal exam, which will occur in the next couple of weeks. Once their gender is determined, the zoo will hold a naming contest, with proceeds going to support conservation efforts aimed at protecting ocelots in their natural habitats.
Six-year-old Evita was born January 15, 2011 at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. Six-year-old Oz was born April 12, 2011 at the North Carolina Zoo. The two were sent to the Greenville Zoo in 2012 as a breeding pair and their first two kittens, which were born August 15, 2015, marked the first successful birth of this species for the Greenville Zoo.
Ocelots are found in every country south of the United States, except Chile, and occasionally range as far north as Texas. Their habitats include mangrove forests and coastal marshes, savanna grasslands and pastures and thorn scrub and tropical forests of all types. Ocelots are solitary and territorial nocturnal hunters, with eyesight six times greater than a human’s, and while they can climb trees and swim, they spend most of their time hunting on the ground. Below are some additional facts about ocelots:
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Greenville Zoo is rated one of the best tourist attractions in South Carolina, attracting 300,000 people annually. Operated by the City of Greenville, the 14-acre facility features wildlife from around the world, including orangutans, giraffes, monkeys and giant tortoises. Visitors can also enjoy one of the zoo’s most popular exhibits, Ektopia, which is home to a variety of lizards, frogs, turtles and snakes.
The Greenville Zoo is open seven days a week, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Zoo entry ticket sales close at 4:15 p.m. Admission to the Greenville Zoo is $9.00 for adults and $5.75 for children (ages 3-15 years old). For more information about the Greenville Zoo, visit www.greenvillezoo.com or follow the zoo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenvillezoo.
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Greenville Zoo Director