Nov 20, 2012 5:48 PM by Ian Cross

Rare ocelot caught on camera in Huachuca Mountains

TUCSON - The Arizona Game and Fish Department has released new photos of an ocelot that apparently has remained in the Huachuca Mountains since February 2011.

The photos were taken by a sportsman in the same general vicinity of the original sighting, according to a news release from Arizona Game and Fish Department. His dog had driven the ocelot up a tree when he took the photo, and the apparently healthy animal was left in the tree unharmed.

"The weight gain and growth of the ocelot is evident in the photos," said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson. "That it has remained in the Huachucas this long is very good news."

According to the department, ocelots are small-to-medium-sized spots cats with long tails, and have been listed as endangered since 1982. The present range for the cats is the eastern and western lowlands of Mexico, from southern Mexico through Central America and in the lowlands of Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. A remnant population also exists in southern Texas, officials stated.

If you encounter a cat believed to be an ocelot, the Game and Fish Department requests that you take photos and observation information and report it immediately to them by calling the Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700.

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