Since April 2013 I have been observing and feeding ocelots that are living near the area. It all started with small 'clues' like cat defecates behind the houses or paw prints near the garden. As I know that they are carnivore animals I started to put a small amount of fish/meat in front of a trap cam as I was not able to stay all day/night near the 'buffet'.
The first ocelot that took the bait was a female. After the first 'bait' I started to put more food at least 4 times a week, only after sunset as they are nocturnal creatures (active during the nighttime). In the beginning their food consisted of only fish, but after a while I noticed that they needed a variety in their diet, so I made a mix of fish/chicken/beef. All cut into small pieces.
In the month of June, after 2 months, the female 'introduced' her daughter by bringing her along to the feeder. She was then big enough to eat meat by herself (no breastfeeding)
During that same month a male also showed up. Sometimes the male and female crossed each other path in front of the buffet, but never did they get into a fight. Back then the female was very protective towards her daughter.
Identifying the cats!!
The mother, her daughter and the male became regular visitors to the feeder. Thanks to the images from the trap cams I was able to tell the difference between them by recognizing them via their unique spots.
Lotje - name of the female/mother
Katja - name of the daughter. In the beginning I called her 'Junior' but when it became clear that 'he' was actually a 'she', I changed her name immediately.
Boyke - name of the male.
Living together apart!!
Since December 2013 I've noticed that Katja started to wander alone. Her mother, Lotje, has given birth in February 2014 for the second time. I am anxiously waiting for the day that she'll bring her kitten(s) to the feeder. To this day all 3 still come to the feeder. As they respect each other and trying to avoid confrontation, they always arrive at different times.
..... to be continued!!
Here are some pictures of the 3 of them. I shot the pictures myself from a distance of 4 meters. Keep in mind that they are still wild cats, but are used to my presence now. Hope you enjoy them.