Last November, scientists from the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), traveled to the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut to artificially inseminate “Kuma”, their 3-legged female Brazilian Ocelot. A similar procedure had been performed 2 years earlier, and “Milagre”, a beautiful female kitten was raised by her mother and transferred to another zoo. The November procedure, performed by Dr. Bill Swanson and Dr. Colleen Lambo, was also a success and on January 22nd, 2011, “Kuma” gave birth to another female kitten! Now 5 months old and quite a spunky little youngster, she is on exhibit with her mother at the Beardsley Zoo.
Animals which have imprinted heavily on humans are less likely to bond with, or even interact appropriately with their own species. Having been raised by her mother, she is appropriately feisty during her first exam, and hopefully her wild behavior will make her a great candidate for future natural breeding.
When asked to submit name suggestions, CREW suggested “Chispa,” which is a Portuguese (the native Brazilian language) word meaning spark or flash. It is also commonly used as a gentle reprimand for misbehaved kittens! This name is a perfect fit for her fun and feisty attitude, and it has been included in their online naming contest. Chispa is currently behind in the poles however, and is losing to “Ayla”, which is a Turkish name meaning moonlight. Help support CREW by clicking here and voting for Chispa!