Delilah arrived at Panther Ridge back in 2004 from California. Her original breeder had gotten into trouble for selling endangered species across state lines.
All of the cats were seized and sent to other facilities. Delilah was relocated to Panther Ridge with another ocelot, Macho Man. She and Macho became best friends, and since they cannot breed with each other, they can share the same play area with their favorite tree.
Like all cats with beautiful coats, Delilah and Macho are considered endangered. Because of varying background colors and spot patterns, it can take as many as 20 pelts to make one ocelot coat. Unfortunately, this practice is still done in some countries. Delilah can usually be found in her hanging tube or igloo, where she likes to nap the day away. She is quite tenacious and likes to keep Macho on his toes!
Toltec came to Panther Ridge from a life filled with misery. At one of his previous homes, he broke his left front leg and it was never set, so it is now deformed. He also had darted with Baytril (an antibiotic) that can cause tissue and nerve damage if done too often. Toltec now walks like a “drunken sailor” because he has nerve damage and muscle atrophy … if he tried to go too fast he loses control and falls over. He arrived wearing a very tight collar, which we managed to remove … that seemed to give him some immediate relief.
He mostly stayed in his igloo and did not seem to want human interaction … but that had never worked out very well for him in the past. Our intern, Scott, was determined to bring him out of his shell and try to improve his muscle strength. He started to work with him using treats and a clicker. Little by little he became more outgoing and stronger from the exercises.
Now he refuses to be ignored and will call loudly when he hears people nearby. We have a long way to go, but his attitude has completely turned around. I think he knows how much we care. Homeopathy and acupuncture are in his future and should give him much needed relief for his sore body.