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Beardsley Zoo wants public’s help in naming male ocelot born at zoo   

It’s been five months since a male ocelot was born at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, and now zoo officials are seeking the public’s help in naming the kitten.

The young ocelot has been dubbed a “miracle kitten” because he was born through a ground-breaking artificial insemination (AI) procedure on Halloween of 2008. He was finally introduced to the public on Valentine’s Day.

Visitors can choose between three names selected by zoo staff: Bruxo, Milagre and Mopua’. People are more than welcome to visit the kitten first at the zoo to determine which name they think fits him best.

The ocelot kitten at 4 weeks old, while being handled by a veterinarian. (Photo by Wayne Ratzenberger)

The ocelot kitten at 4 weeks old, while being handled by a veterinarian. (Photo by Wayne Ratzenberger)

Ballots will be available at the zoo’s front gate through April 18, and the kitten’s new name will be announced April 19.

“Everyone should come down to meet this frisky kitten and help us decide on a name,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “Zoo staff has chosen Portuguese names to reflect his Brazilian ancestry, but that’s where we would love to have everyone’s input.”

Since this is only the third time in history that AI has successfully produced an endangered ocelot kitten in captivity, the staff chose Mopua’ (pronounced “Mo -pu-a”), which means “three” in Portuguese. Milagre means “miracle” and Dia das Bruxas means “Halloween.” Bruxa translates to “witch,” with the male version of Bruxa being Bruxo.

This was the first ocelot kitten ever born at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

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