Dr. Chloe Wilde is our wildlife biologist. She studied ecology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Her favorite topic of study is conservation. Dr. Wilde is passionate about learning about and teaching others about how they can help wild cat populations, including reducing their use of products with palm oil in them. Though Carolina Tiger Rescue does not have any, Dr. Wilde’s favorite animal to study is the clouded leopard.
Dr. Wilde’s Blog 8/15/19
I love ocelots an awful lot! I know, I know, bad pun, but seriously Magoo Ocelot and the rest of his species are really cool cats!
Ocelots are small spotted cats that mainly live in the rainforests of Central and South America. They have large paws that help them climb and they spend most of their lives up in trees. If you didn’t already know, you could probably guess that it rains a lot in the *rain*forest. Well, one of the coolest ocelot facts is that they have water-resistant urine, so when they mark their territory it won’t wash away every time it rains! Ocelots are nocturnal, which means they are most active and hunt at night. They actually have white markings around their eyes to amplify the bit of available light and help them see better to hunt prey. Ocelots don’t always pursue their prey. Sometimes, they let the prey come to them. An ocelot will play dead on a tree branch until a curious monkey gets too close and then, bam, it’s like food delivery service!
Magoo Ocelot is the only ocelot at Carolina Tiger Rescue. He was actually born here as part of the former breeding program. The hope was that the animals born here would be released in the wild someday, but that day never came. Magoo spends his time in his off tour enclosure greeting the occasional small groups of volunteers or staff. He enjoys hanging out on his highest platform and investigating things happening around his enclosure. Magoo loves enrichment involving scents – the stinkier, the better! He’s also very good at painting Pawcassos. Pawcassos are a form of enrichment where staff put poster board with paint and fun scents on it in the enclosure and the animal gets to spread that paint however they see fit! Magoo gets really into it and rubs his whole body in the paint, sometimes growling while he works. Magoo is capable of purring but he tends to growl no matter what mood he’s in! He even growls when he gets banana peels, another favorite enrichment item.
Magoo may be the only representative for ocelots at the sanctuary but he makes sure to show us what awesome cats and predators they are!