Monday, October 15, 2012

Our October Surprise - the Sequel!

We have a very special announcement!  On October 10, 2012, we welcomed a new resident to In-Sync Exotics’ family—little Quisto

Quisto is a 5-year old Brazilian Ocelot, who is part of the Species Survival Program (SSP).  We were asked to house Quisto by an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility, until such time his “breeding stud service” is required.  Until that day comes, we will provide this little guy with a wonderful home at In-Sync Exotics.

When Quisto arrived on Wednesday, we barely caught a glimpse of him as he ran from the transporter into his temporary den.  For several days, Quisto refused to come out of the den, looking absolutely terrified.  Right now he is living in Kenya's house.  We are hoping that once we relocate some of our exotic cats (now that the cheetahs moved into their new home thereby freeing up enclosure space), we will be able to move Quisto next door to Otis and Moses. This area is perfect for one small cat and it has an indoor/outdoor climate controlled house so he can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

You may have noticed Quisto is missing a front limb.  We were told that he lost his leg in an accident several years ago.  Despite the missing leg, Quisto is able to move around his new home without any problems.  It’s amazing to watch him walk around his temporary quarters, checking out all the new sights and smells. Quisto has never been outdoors before, so needless to say, all of this is very new and strange to him.

Quisto’s main diet is the same type of food we provide our small exotic cats. We added bones to his diet on Wednesdays and Sundays, so he can keep his teeth clean and sharp and work his jaw bones and muscles. Quisto brought along his own special "comfort" food that we can use for treats to help make him feel more at home.  So far, Quisto has been very shy of our presence, coming out when offered small bites of chicken. At one point, he did take a piece of chicken from Vicky’s hand, looking a little lost.  He seemed to want to accept her friendly overtures, but his shyness held him back. We are hoping that in time, this little guy will feel very comfortable in his new home!

The AZA facility was most kind in donating funds so we could build a new small cat enclosure!

So why are Brazilian Ocelots so special and why are they on the endangered species list?

On the average, ocelots are about 3.5 feet long, weighing 15-35 pounds.  Females tend to be slightly smaller than the males.  Did you know that an ocelot’s night vision is six times better than a human’s?  They can certainly see you coming long before you can spot this wild cat—that is if you can even see the cat in his natural habitat that includes mangrove forests, coastal marshes, savannah grasslands, pastures, thorn scrub and tropical forests of all types!

Generally, Brazilian ocelots are found in southern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina.  Males occupy territories of 31.4 to 18 square miles, while females occupy smaller, non-overlapping territories of 0.31 to 5.8 square miles.  Territories are marked by urine spraying and by leaving feces in prominent locations.

The ocelot is mostly nocturnal and very territorial. He will fight fiercely, sometimes to the death, in territorial disputes. Like most felines, ocelots are solitary animals, usually meeting only to mate.

During the day, Ocelots like to rest in trees or other dense foliage and will come out at night to hunt rodents, reptiles and birds.  Did you know that ocelots are expert feather pluckers and can remove most feathers before eating their prey?

In the wild, ocelots live about 7 – 10 years. Captured cats, like Quisto, can live up to 20 years.

In partnership with the Ocelot Species Survival Plan (SSP), the Brazilian Ocelot Consortium (BOC) was established in 2002. These two conservation programs collaborate to protect and conserve these beautiful cats in the wild (in-situ) and through breeding programs with participating AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) conservation centers.  Sad to say, in the wild, Brazilian ocelots, which are noted for their beautiful spotted coats, are threatened by deforestation, habitat destruction and the fur trade, which is why there are on the endangered species list.  We'll be doing a more in-depth look at the Brazilian Ocelots in a future blog posting, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, please welcome our newest resident, Quisto, to the In-Sync Exotics' family!

Quisto feeling a little more confident...

It's a brave new world, Quisto!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


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