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The Ocelot or Painted Leopard

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First Published: 6th of June, 2022 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: November 2, 2023 at 21:12 pm

The ocelot is a mammal native to the North, South, and Central Americas as well as the Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Margarita. Ocelots are carnivores meaning they eat other animals. Since it generally hunts during the night, the ocelot is described as a nocturnal animal.

Being a nocturnal hunter, the ocelot has extremely strong night vision, and can see as well in the night as humans can see during the day.


The ocelot is adorned with a beautiful fur coat which once caused it to become an endangered species. People paid huge amounts of money for an ocelot coat and this caused the animal to become hunted and endangered. The ocelot coat is made up of golden fur with white cream on the belly and splashed with random patterns. Fortunately, due to a decrease in demand, ocelots are not hunted for their fur as much as they used to be.

The ocelot has two stripes on its cheek and a stripe running from the top of the eye over the head. The tail of the ocelot has rings around the end and it has bands on the lower end of the tail closer to the body.


Ocelots prefer to live in areas with thick vegetation and its primary habitat is the rainforest. During the day, the ocelot sleeps hidden among bushes, on a tree branch, or inside a hallow tree.


Ocelots eat mostly rodents. They also eat birds, snakes, iguanas, lizards, baby peccaries, young deer, rabbits, fish, and crabs.


Ocelots are sometimes eaten by larger cats such as jaguars, boa constrictors, anacondas, and harpy eagles.

Below is a video of an ocelot which was spotted during the daytime in Canje, Region 6, Berbice, Guyana, South America.

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