The Greenville Zoo and the Greenville Zoo Foundation are offering the public a chance to name the two female ocelot kittens born at the zoo on August 15. For the first time, the Greenville Zoo Foundation will hold an online auction as part of its fundraising efforts to support the zoo. In addition to being able to name both kittens, the winning bidder will also receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo for up to six people, including an opportunity to meet the ocelots' keeper. Additionally, the winning bidder will receive a framed photo of the kittens with their paw prints and names. All of the funds received from the winning bid will be used to improve and maintain the zoo’s ocelot exhibit.
The auction opens Friday, November 6 at noon at https://www.32auctions.com/GreenvilleOcelots. The deadline to submit a bid is Friday, November 20 at 4 p.m. A minimum bid of $250 is required to start, and the highest bid received by the deadline will be the winner. The winning bidder will be notified and will submit their name choices upon payment of the bid amount. Names are subject to approval by the Greenville Zoo. Once the winning bid is confirmed and the kittens’ names are approved, the Greenville Zoo and the Greenville Zoo Foundation will announce the winning bid amount and the names chosen for the ocelot pair on social media.
Only the winning bidder will be required to pay their bid amount, so in addition to participating in the auction, zoo supporters can also make a separate donation to help fund improvements to and maintenance of the zoo’s ocelot and South American Pampas exhibits. Unlike auction bids, donations will be processed immediately.
The ocelot kittens are the first offspring for parents Evita and Oz, who are four years old. Theirs was the first successful birth of this species for the Greenville Zoo, which is one of only two Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions to breed ocelots this year. Evita, who came from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, and Oz, who came from the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC, were sent to the Greenville Zoo in 2013 as a breeding pair. They replaced the zoo’s non-breeding pair of ocelots, who are now residents of the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, IN. The kittens’ birth is a valuable contribution to the conservation of this endangered species and to the Ocelot Species Survival Plan (SSP), which strives to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse and demographically varied population through breeding programs with AZA-accredited institutions like the Greenville Zoo.