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      Nature Report : Ocelot Festival 2013

      The Rio Grande Valley is home to the only population of wild ocelots in the United States, and with less than 50 of the endangered cats estimated to remain in deep South Texas the chance of seeing one of the elusive cats in the wild is remote. However, you do have a wonderful opportunity this weekend to see a live ocelot at the annual Ocelot Soiree and Festival being held at the Gladys Porter Zoo where an ocelot from the Cincinnati Zoo will be the featured attraction. Marion Mason Ranger with Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, "Our festivities kick off on Friday night with the Friends of Laguna Atascosa Ocelot Soiree. This is a fund raising event as well as an awareness event. There will be a live ocelot showing as well as the premiere of the new Richard Moore documentary, Phantom Cat of the Chaparral, so you can be the first one to see that." Tickets to the Ocelot Soiree Friday night are limited and reservations are required. "It is going to be held at the Gladys Porter Zoo Friday night March 22 from six to nine o'clock. You do need to get a ticket in advance, they are $60, it is a fund raiser for the Friends of Laguna Atascosa to help support our ocelot research. You can call the refuge at 956-748-3607, and we can direct you to the folks to help you get a ticket." Following Friday night's special fund raising event, the annual Ocelot Festival will be held at the Gladys Porter Zoo from 10 to 4, and everyone is invited to come and learn more about the Valley's endangered ocelots. With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore