Suspected Ocelot Pelt Found Inside Motor Home

March 07, 2014

(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
An ocelot resting against a tree.

Agriculture specialists with Customs and Border Protection in Nogales have seized what appears to be the tanned hide of a large wild cat, possibly an ocelot, inside a motor home.

Spokeswoman Tracy Fillipi says the driver told them he was given the pelt by a friend in Mexico. But she says ocelots are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or CITES.

“Ocelots happen to be a CITES one, which is the highest level, or considered to be the most protected or the most threatened in their habitat,” Fillipi said.

She says Mexico and the United States are partners under the treaty and have an obligation to follow up on the finding. If there is anything more to be done, she says it will be up to wildlife authorities in Mexico to do the investigating.