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New Ocelot Kittens Buffer Against Extinction

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Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
One of three ocelot kittens born via artificial insemination.

There are three more ocelot kittens in the world thanks to efforts from conservationists and scientists in Ohio, Arizona, and Texas. The Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife worked with the El Paso Zoo and the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum to make it happen.

According to a release from the Cincinnati Zoo, two litters of ocelot kittens were born through artificial insemination using frozen semen. It's the first time that's happened successfully since 1995. Five kittens were born March 1-2, but only three survived.

The father is a 16-year-old at the Houston Zoo. He moved from Brazil to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2006, and his semen was collected and frozen in 2010.

Ocelots have been on the endangered list in the United States for more than 40 years, with only an estimated 60 to 80 of the wild cats in south Texas.