Oklahoma City Zoo welcomes Brazilian ocelot kitten 

Romping around his new den, Joaquin " a 4-and-a-half-month-old ocelot kitten " makes his debut at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

The 8-pound Brazilian ocelot kitten is the first ocelot to be born at the zoo since 1997, keepers said. Weather and outdoor temperatures permitting, Joaquin and his mother, Pinga, can be seen daily at the zoo's Cat Forest habitat.

Joaquin's birth was part of the zoo's efforts to promote the survivability of ocelots, which are an endangered species. In August 2006, two Brazilian ocelots born at the Baura Zoo in Brazil were brought to the Oklahoma City Zoo to encourage genetic diversity.

Ocelots generally populate South and Central America and Mexico, but the animals have been spotted in southern parts of Texas.

Joaquin is joining quite a kitten corral. The site is also home to two litters of 1-year-old African lion cubs, and two 6-month-old snow leopard cubs born to first-time mother Kiara.

The kittens, cubs and their families can be found lounging and playing at the Cat Forest and Lion Overlook habitats at the Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 N.E. 50th. The Zoo is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Admission is $7 for adults, and $4 for children 3-11 and seniors. For more information, call 424-3344.

 "Natalie Burkey

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