Since 2013 we are feeding ocelots close to the Kabalebo resort, giving visitors the chance of a lifetime to see these wild cats up close and personal. Slender wild cats of mid height who are completely used to everything and everybody near the resort. But still they are being confused and are seen as a jaguar (?!) In this post we take a closer look at the 'profiles' of both the ocelot and the jaguar.
I can imagine why the ocelots are being confused for a jaguar, because people usually associate the Amazon with the jaguar. The jaguar is the largest and most impressive predator of South-America. It is anyone's dream to see this magnificent creature, for at least, once in their lifetime. Same goes for me. Since I started working at the resort I have waited, patiently, 6 years before my dream came true.
The pictures are shown next to each other so that you can easily see the difference between the two of them.
A closer look at their face expression you can see that the ocelot has a peaceful catlike look. On the other hand, the jaguar, often has a bad mood impression. But I am not sure if he also feels that way too.
An ocelot usually weighs between 11 and 15 kg while the jaguar weighs between 50 and 140 kg.
The ocelot has a slender long neck and a small head. The jaguar on the other hand has a big and broad head and also a shorter neck.
Both wild cats were seen on the hunt. Here you can clearly see the difference in size. Ocelots hunt on small prey like birds and lizards. While the jaguar hunts on larger prey, such like tapirs, peccaries, deers, monkeys, sloths, capybara's, snakes, caimans, turtles and fish.
An even closer look:
But … they also have a lot in common:
Since I started observing the ocelots, it was pretty easy to recognize them just by the way they walk. I used pictures of Lotje, Boyke and Katja to show the difference in comparison with a jaguar. All three are still living close to the lodge and with the help of trophy cams/night cams we also know where their territory is. Same goes for the jaguar.
So the next time when we talk about 'cat observation' or 'feeding the cats', we mean the ocelots.