|photo credit Tony Battiste, Portraits in Nature|
An Ocelot in the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona is certainly an exciting find if it turns out to be a wild animal rather than an escaped pet. We may never know, but my wishful bet will be on a wild ocelot.
The man called Game and Fish and an officer responded to the site and confirmed that it was, in fact, an ocelot. The officer did a non-intrusive, visual inspection of the animal from the ground near the tree, and the animal appeared to be healthy. There was no indication that there had been any dog-to-cat direct interaction, as no wounds were visible on any animal.
As with all wildlife-human interaction cases, photos were taken of the animal (attached). The officer was also able to retrieve some scat samples from the scene.
Once the final confirmation was determined, the officer directed that all humans and dogs retreat from the area, and the ocelot, apparently unharmed, was allowed to go on his way.