The N.C. Zoo announced this week the birth of two ocelot kittens and shared a picture of the little ones cuddling with their mom, Inca.
“These two new kittens bring the total of endangered ocelots in captivity to 96,” said N.C. Zoo director Pat Simmons in a press release. “It’s always exciting when animal babies are born at the zoo, and we hope to have the kittens on exhibit with their mother in about six to eight weeks for our visitors to enjoy.”
The zoo opened a new ocelot habitat just outside the Mangum Desert in May.
The kittens were born to 11-year-old Inca and 12-year-old Diego and are the fourth litter for the pair, according to the release. The ocelot parents came to the zoo in Asheboro, about 90 minutes from the Triangle, in 2010 from San Francisco. Inca, the mother, is outgoing. Diego is very shy.
In the United States, ocelots are found only in Arizona and Texas. They are more commonly found in Central and South America where they live in scrub lands and tropical forests.
One to three kittens are typically born in each litter. Babies weigh in at seven to 12 ounces at birth and open their eyes about two weeks after birth.
It's been a busy few months at the zoo. In August, the zoo celebrated the birth of a baby bongo, a "critically endangered" animal and the first of its kind for the zoo. In May, two elk calves were born.