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Game and Fish gets another photo of rare ocelot

Posted in: News Media
Jul 6, 2011
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Department comparing photo to those taken Feb. 9

The Arizona Game and Fish Department announced today that it has obtained another confirmed photo of a rare ocelot taken in the Huachuca Mountains.

That photo is being compared to others taken of an ocelot Feb. 9 in the same mountain range to determine if they are the same cat.  Such an analysis may be inconclusive because of differences in photographic elements.

110526_Ocelot_trailcam_Huachucas_web.JPG
The trail cam photo was provided to the department by two hunters. The photo was taken at 9:55 p.m. on May 26. The hunters will take department officials to verify the location and determine if other photos of the ocelot are available.

Biologists will try to use comparisons between spots, known as “rosettes,” to determine if they are the same animal.

The ocelot is listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

“This photo either demonstrates the continued presence of the ocelot we photographed in February, or that of a new animal, either of which is good news for ocelot conservation,” said department Nongame Branch Chief Eric Gardner.  

Game and Fish obtained nearly 300 photos and 20-minutes of video of the ocelot sighted Feb. 9 after it was treed by an area landowner’s dogs. That ocelot was observed in the tree by wildlife officers for approximately one hour, and then was left there apparently unharmed.

An ocelot in Cochise County was photographed by the Sky Island Alliance in 2009, and one was found dead in Globe in 2010.  

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