The Ocelot, one of its habitats and the Wall
I think you will agree with me that the Ocelot is an amazing-looking wild cat. The lovely pattern of its coat and elegant body makes this a beautiful animal. I would love to have one in my cat’s family.
Because it can weigh up to 15.5 kg, they consider it a medium-sized member of the cat family and can be up to 1 meter long. This is much bigger than the normal house cat and is almost twice the size of the Maine Coon cat.
The Ocelot’s habitat ranges from northern Argentina to the southwestern United States. It is an animal that becomes active at twilight and stays active during the night. It is an excellent climber and hunts small terrestrial mammals. The opossum, armadillo, and lagomorphs, which include the hare, rabbit, and pika family, are all on the ocelot’s menu.
The Texan ocelots breed late in summer and after some months a litter of 2 or 3 cubs is born. The mother ocelot cares for her babies for 2 years. Lots of things they have to learn to be able to survive in the wild. Its natural habitat is the Rio Grande Valley and biologists estimate that there are only 50 ocelots left in the United States and northeastern Mexico.
In 2009, 5 ocelots were sighted in Arizona and it is believed that they came from a population south of the border in the Mexican state of Sonora. It is obvious that special care needs to be taken to help the ocelot as it is on the border of extinction.
In this YouTube video, you can see how a young Ocelot is exploring its habitat and trying to fish. It is really cute.
The pet of Salvador Dali
Did you hear the story about Salvador Dali? He had a pet ocelot called Babou and would take it to a New York restaurant. He would tie the leash to the table leg and there Babou would sit with a stone-studded collar. Most guests would be rather surprised. This happened in the 1960s but nowadays the ocelots are on the endangered species list.
You may ask why I am telling you about this beautiful animal. Well, the reason is that the ocelot runs a grave danger, and that danger is a wall. Yes, the wall that President Trump is so keen on building.
A collection of walls
World history has known many walls. Some are wonders of the world, and some are despicable. Some have fallen or are in serious disrepair and some still exist today.
Take as an example the Great Wall of China. It started simply by the building of fortifications which were later connected by walls. The construction of the Great Wall took quite a few centuries, and they built the first segments in pre-dynastic China from 771 to 476 BC.
About 200 years later, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi, wanted to protect his lands from nomads from Inner Asia and connected the fortifications by joining them with a continuous wall. Over time, different rulers built more segments of this wall and other walls. This is an endless story that is not important for my post.
It is only to show you that wall-building, small or large, is something humans have done throughout history and the primary reason was to keep other humans out.
They designated the Great Wall as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and modern tourists visiting China will probably visit this monument. In 2003, the Chinese government enacted laws to protect it.
The Berlin Wall is another example of where a wall is built to control the population. This wall was meant to keep people inside Communist Germany and it completely circled West Berlin, cutting the city of Berlin in two.
It separated families for a very long time, causing heartbreak and depression. Desperate attempts to “go over the wall” would result in capture or death. Regardless, it almost always ended in tragedy.
The building of the Berlin Wall started on August 13, 1961. Upon completion, it was 168 km (104 miles) long and at its tallest, was 3.6 meters (11.8 ft) high, blocking the view even from the first floor. Windows on the side of the wall were often closed with brick and mortar to further prevent escape to the West.
On November 9, 1989, the wall came down, and it reunited the two parts of Germany.
Another well-known wall is the one constructed by Israel in the occupied West Bank. Construction started in June 2002 and they built it to keep (or force) some people out of Israel. The argument was that it was necessary for security.
I have always had a misunderstanding of the naming of this area called “the West Bank”. It is east of Israel and is the western side of occupied Palestine. The barrier wall (also known as separation fence, West Bank barrier, or even Apartheid Wall), generally follows the Green Line, established as the border between Palestinian populations and Israel.
But there are significant deviations from the previously established border. It is almost 62% complete and after they construct the entire 708 km length, an estimation of up to 13% of Palestinian land will be on the Israeli side of this wall, effectively cutting off 10s of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands.
I am also thinking about the future like in 20 or 30 years. The south of Europe will become too hot to live in because of climate change. That means that the people from the Mediterranean will move to the north. The question is will countries like Germany, Holland, and Belgium build a wall?
What about America? Could it happen that Canada says we are full, you cannot come in, and eventually also build a wall?
There are though also great walls like the Great Green Wall of Africa. This is a natural barrier of planted trees that is meant to keep the Sahara from advancing. It stretches from the East to the West on the African continent. Can you imagine how happy wildlife will be with their new habitat?
Most of these walls have created problems, be it in ancient history or more recently. There is another “famous” wall which is creating enormous problems, not only for people but also for fauna and flora.
Nowadays, when you hear “The Wall” mentioned, most people will automatically think of President Trump and his election-stumping announcement to build a wall keeping the Mexican people out and letting Mexico pay for it.
To be fair, part of the American wall exists already, 650 miles to be precise. The total border between Mexico and the United States is some 2000-mile long, so there still is an enormous gap to close. It depends on what type of construction you choose. One that lets water and wildlife through or a solid barrier that stops everything dead in its tracks.
Now, this is where an environmental problem starts. The construction of a solid wall is on its way, which will hinder the passing of anything bigger than a pocket mouse.
The inhabitants of North America
Do you want to know what grows and who lives in North America? This guide will show you exactly that. It is very helpful when you travel so you can identify what you encounter on your trip.
Hollands solution for wildlife routes
Holland is a small country that is densely populated. It can boast of beautiful nature, big forests, and lots of wildlife. Being such a populated country, over time high roads have crossed the natural wildlife routes in many places.
They found a brilliant solution. They built bridges with vegetation over the highways so all animals could cross without danger. Normally people do not cross those bridges as they are only meant for animals. The country can boast of over 66 such bridges.
Coming back to the American Wall, bridges would not be practical in an effort to control immigration because people, as well as animals, would use them. Sadly, now the U.S. is building a wall that is insurmountable for wildlife, small and big. They plan to have a total of 576 miles of the wall ready by the end of the year and it will only cost you, the taxpayer, a mere $11 billion.
Just imagine what one could do with all that money? Like taking the homeless off the streets. Or at least helping the homeless veterans by giving them Tiny Homes. I bet there would be money left for better healthcare, etc. Just let your imagination run.
The problem with this President
When in the past, some good laws were put into place, laws like the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, this president wipes these laws of the table with one sweep of his hand. The consequences are more than serious for all living things, and yes, humans included.
Some more species that will suffer
The building of this blocking wall will not only hinder the Ocelot from moving freely in his habitat.
The Saguaro cactus which grows in the Sonoran desert is being destroyed. To think that under Arizona law, someone convicted of cutting down or damaging a Saguaro cactus could face up to 25-years in prison. The sacred burial site of the Tohono O’odham people is being blown up to make space for the wall. Then there are quite a few endangered animal species that will suffer.
The Mexican Gray Wolf, which is the smallest of its species, is seeing its habitat reduced. In the late 1970s, America in collaboration with Mexico tried its best to save this wolf. Seven Mexican gray wolves were captured and bred in captivity. Now the total population of Mexican Gray Wolves are some 131 and are all descendants of those initial 7.
The wall will cut through the wolf population’s habitat and hinder a recovery to healthy genetic diversity. At the moment this little group is mainly brothers and sisters, and isolating this population is unhealthy as it will force inbreeding.
Another animal that will suffer the consequences of the wall is the Jaguar. It is the third-largest cat and the largest one native to North America. It boasts a lovely spotted coat and is really beautiful. They roam freely between Mexico and the United States so you can imagine that a wall will stop it from doing so.
These last 20 years, they have sighted 7 jaguars in Arizona, but the wall will restrict its freedom.
The Peninsular Bighorn Sheep will not benefit from the wall and neither will aquatic species like the Quitobaquito pupfish or the Sonoyta mud turtle. To build this wall vast amounts of groundwater are required. Some estimate it as being as much as 50 million gallons (75 Olympic swimming pools).
Questions arise regarding the safety of the habitat of the mud turtle, which only has two habitats, and the pupfish which live in one of the mud turtle habitats. Where are the turtle and the pupfish going to live? Let’s face it, this wall is a killer and we should stop it.
Something one should not forget is that border monitoring control vehicles, the noise of trucks and helicopters, all this will frighten wildlife far away from their habitat. Using high-intensity floodlights and air pollution will also disturb and diminish wildlife. Do you want that to happen?
We have arrived in 2021 with a new president who seems to have different ideas concerning environmental issues. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
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Source: Sierra Club, article by Garet Bleir, Feb 18, 2020
Photo Source: Pixabay
I hope you are aware of how important trees are for us? They provide the oxygen we breathe. Therefore, it is incomprehensible that so many trees are being lost, be it through cutting or fires. You might find it interesting to read the following post.
800 Year Old Trees In Danger, Unbelievable Government Decision
Ocelots are so beautiful. I could watch the video of that cute baby all day long.
I didn’t know Dali had a pet ocelot! That’s obviously not a great idea, lol, but it would have been a site to see.
We have a carnivore rescue center near me that has tigers and servals and some other cats, but I am not sure about ocelots. I will check it out. 🙂
Good afternoon Katie,
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I am a big cat fan and also think this animal looks gorgeous. The endangered species act started in America in 1973 and over the years has highly contributed to saving so many plants and animals from extinction. That is why I do not understand how it is possible a president annuls such a helpful and important law.
Dali and Babou were from before this law and I am sure he treated Babou with lots of love and good care. Personally I prefer to see animals in the wild but I did confess in my post I would not mind adding an Ocelot to my cat family.
Rescue centers are very good but if the reason is a stupid wall then I really do not agree with it.
Many thanks to you for sharing such an important article with us The Ocelot is an amazing wild cat and such a beautiful animal. My brother lives in the United States of America and I heard about this cat . And I was interested to know more about this cat and therefore I am happy to have come across your article today.
Through this article, I have learned more about animals and I think that they should be more protected. I never want anything that disrupts and diminishes wildlife. The building on this blocking wall will obstruct the free movement of the Ocelot. I really think the government should look into this problem.
I have gained a lot of knowledge through your informative article and hopefully, others will gain a lot of knowledge too. Can I share your article on my social media?
Good afternoon Mobashera,
Thank you for your visit and for your comment. Nice to see you again.
That is very nice of you to share my article on your social media, the more people know about this the better.
Walls are no good as they separate people and animals cannot roam freely which is very sad. I do hope this wall will never be completed.
Reading your article makes me worry what this wall (that Trump is planning to build) could really bring to every human and animal of the present and next generation. But most likely, in my opinion, this could be the opposite of “freedom wall” wherein you are free to write whatever you want to. Thus, freedom is fully given to everyone!
Trump’s billion-dollar wall could definitely bring a negative impact not just for Mexico but also for other neighboring nations of the United States Of America and more so, to the life of every animal that gives beauty to nature and brings wonderful feelings to every human.
Animals like the Ocelot should never be suppressed with freedom because like humans, they also have their own feelings, emotions and most importantly, the right to survive – The Wall will absolutely limit them from catching their foods and therefore their right to survive is in jeopardy. That’s pretty sad!
Good Morning Julius,
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Personally I find it very worrying that good laws which have been in place for a long time, like the endangered species act of 1974, are now being eliminated, just like that. All the good those laws have provided will disappear in a very short time.
The lack of feeling for nature and other human beings is so obvious with this president that I do not understand people vote for him. The consequences will be a burden for future generations and it is ever so sad.
Hello! Many many thanks for sharing this article.
Yes, I agree with you that ocelots are amazing wild cats. Its coat and beautiful pattern of the elegant body make it such a beautiful creature. I have learned many things by reading your post. Recently, the destruction of forests has led to the disappearance of wild animals. Now a wall will be build to cause even more problems for animals.
The result of communal riots in different countries is also affecting wildlife. We all need to become aware of the existence of beautiful wild animals like ocelots. It is our duty to take care of fauna and flora. Thank you so much for your awareness and valuable article writing. Best of luck.
Good Morning Alam,
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When you look at the world it is so sad to see how wildlife has diminished. When good laws that protected our environment are taken away it becomes a disaster. When the natural balance is gone we will also suffer the consequences.
We have to educate our children to take care of the environment which after all is our habitat. We also have to take care of who we choose as our leaders as their power can cause so much harm.
Ocelots are beautiful cats and after reading your article, it’s clear to me than once again men are thinking about themselves first and doing something with never giving a thought to animals and plants.
As you well mention on your article, there are a few walls built around the world that had changed everything around them. We all know about the story from the Berlin wall, as it was built from one day to the next and how families couldn’t see their family’s members anymore.
We think about humans, but we use to never think same is happening to animals, one day their home or territory is one and the next day as they go back to the place they were born, they find a wall and they cannot go there anymore!
Reding your article made me think about one morning many years ago, as my family was living in Jalisco, Mexico. I woke up early and my mom told me about last night at dinner with some people from the company where my dad used to work, and these people brought with them a young ocelot.
They told my parents; they heard from some people my family was an animal lover, and they were wondering if my dad will accept to get the young ocelot.
To my surprise, my mom told me they said no, as they thought an ocelot will not be a good pet for a big family with young children like us (10 years old to a new baby). My mom told me how beautiful that ocelot was, and it was a pity to have said no. A memory I’ve always had in my mind, but I understand today my parents’ decision that night.
Good afternoon Alejandra,
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It is so sad that humans make decisions without carefully taking into consideration all the consequences. We often do that and nature has to suffer.
To have such a big family including small children might have been a bit too much for the ocelot in question. I hope it got a suitable home in the end.
We all are part of creation and we all have our rightful place.
I understand and agree with your thoughts about the effects of man-made structures cutting into the habitat of the Earths’ beautiful wildlife.
But when you talk about the wall on the southern border of the US, we also need to consider the human cost of not controlling who crosses the border. Border states have long had to deal with dangerous criminals in their backyards and drugs flowing into their communities. Innocent people dying after being abandoned by coyotes, young children trafficked across to be forced into the sex trade.
Now President Biden has said that he welcomes the immigrants, but does he? Families who have given up everything to take him up on his offer are being turned away at the border. Unaccompanied minors are being held in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions while information about these children being sexually assaulted in these facilities is now coming to light.
What is the answer to this problem? I don’t know, but allowing these problems to continue is unacceptable.
Good afternoon Cynthia,
Thank you for your visit and comment.
My post focuses mainly on the plight of animals suffering human decisions. I included only a little on politics. Your comment mainly focusses on politics. That is ok, but I reserve the right to express my opinion.
President Biden has been in office some hundred days but this issue of immigrants and especially small children sitting at the border in horrible conditions dates back multiple presidential terms of office. It will not be solved easily. Since April 1, 2021 Home Land Security has a new Director-General. Her name is Chloe Squires and I hope she will make positive changes.
One should ask what is driving these families to migrate from their home country to a less than wonderful life in a country that hates them. Poverty and war are the key drivers for their dislocation. They want a better future for their children.
Drugs are coming to the U. S because of the market demand. The CIA fed that market demand.
Here in Spain, as in other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, there is the problem of immigrants coming by the boat full. Often their migration can last many years till they finally reach Europe.
After the second World War, the south of Europe migrated to the north to work in the factories of Germany, Holland and other countries. These countries needed labor, and the people got better wages than in the south. Immigration has existed throughout history. Need always causes it.