Twice the size of the average house cat, the ocelot is a sleek animal with a gorgeous dappled coat. These largely nocturnal cats use keen sight and hearing to hunt rabbits, rodents, iguanas, fish, and frogs. They also take to the trees and stalk monkeys or birds. Unlike many cats, they do not avoid water and can swim well.
Like other cats, ocelots are adapted for eating meat. They have pointed fangs used to deliver a killing bite, and sharp back teeth that can tear food like scissors. Ocelots do not have teeth appropriate for chewing, so they tear their food to pieces and swallow it whole. Their raspy tongues can clean a bone of every last tasty morsel.
Ocelots have recently and remarkably become daily visitors at SouthWild’s Santa Tereza Lodge in the Brazilian Pantanal.
Andean condors are massive birds, among the largest in the world that are able to fly. Because they are so heavy (up to 33 pounds/15 kilograms), even their enormous 10-foot (3-meter) wingspan needs some help to keep them aloft. For that reason, these birds prefer to live in windy areas where they can glide on air currents with little effort. Andean condors are found in mountainous regions, as their name suggests, but also live near coasts replete with ocean breezes and even deserts that feature strong thermal air currents.
It is an ancient mythic figure in South American culture and a national symbol for several nations.
SouthWild has discovered the best place in Chilean Patagonia to see condors, a 700 foot cliffside just outside Punta Arenas which regularly showcases over 100 condors in spectacular flight.