Newborn ocelots boost Valley population

      Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Photo

      A local group is celebrating the birth of two ocelots kittens at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

      The Friends of the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge made the announcement on their facebook page Wednesday night.

      The group reported that the two kittens were born to a female ocelot that biologists named "Esperanza" or "Hope" in English.

      Images of the two ocelot kittens were recorded on a remote camera at the wildlife refuge.

      Wildlife experts believe that about 50 ocelots make their home in the deep South Texas, with 13 known of them living in the refuge.

      The birth of the two kittens follows the death of a male ocelot along a concrete barrier off U.S. Highway 100 near Los Fresnos.

      The ocelot is considered an endangered species in the United States.

      All of the United States' ocelot population lives in the Rio Grande Valley and deep South Texas.