Get ready for the cutest photos you'll see all day — maybe all week. All month?
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum recently welcomed the birth of a rare ocelot. The kitten was born last month to the museum's resident ocelot, Arieta.
The birth, which the museum calls "monumental," was the result of collaborations with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife and the El Paso Zoo, the museum said on Facebook. Ocelots are one of the 25 endangered animal and plant species at the Desert Museum.
Between the three locations, two litters of ocelots have been born following artificial insemination with semen that was collected and frozen in 2010 from a male ocelot named Principe — a resident of the Houston Zoo. The last ocelot born with the use of frozen semen was more than two decades ago, the museum says.
"With the global ocelot population declining, the Desert Museum has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost breeding experts and has employed the most sophisticated of modern methods available to combat the extinction of this small rare cat," the museum says.
The Species Survival Plan was created in 1981 to help endangered or threatened species. The ocelot plan currently oversees about 95 ocelots at more than 50 zoos throughout the continent.
Unfortunately for us though, to help reduce any stress on the kitten and her mother and to focus on the duo's health, they currently aren't available for public viewing. But at least we have the adorable photos to look at.
"It is because of your support that we can continue this incredibly important conservation work that will help rebuild ocelot population numbers," the museum says.