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      Concrete barrier blamed in Los Fresnos ocelot death

      Wildlife officials are blaming a concrete barrier for the recent death of male ocelot killed while trying to cross State Highway 100 near Los Fresnos.

      The ocelot was killed more than a week ago but are now favoring building wildlife crossings that will be safer for the endangered wildcat.

      Kelly McDowell with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said the ocelot was killed on the north side of the highway along a concrete barrier that separates east- and west-bound lanes of the highway.

      The concrete barriers were installed several years ago.

      McDowell said in a statment released on Monday that ocelots have to travel for several miles to get around the concrete barriers.

      Any animal that wants to get across that highway has to find a gap in those concrete barriers and they still don TMt know if there is a speeding car on the other side, McDowell said.

      According to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serivce figures, there are on only 50 ocelts in the United States -- all of them in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas.

      McDowell reported that officials are now advocating the construction of culverts and small bridges to be used as wildlife crossings in areas where ocelots are known to travel.