The young children (and press) who came out to see the debut and naming announcement of the ocelot kitten yesterday morning got a sad surprise—no kitten, no mom, and only a sleeping dad.
Despite the male ocelot kitten being a no-show (preferring instead to stay warm in his den), the name was announced as “Rio” meaning river in Spanish. The zoo allowed animal lovers to vote on the kitten's name, choosing between Rio, Mo, and Bonito. Rio won with 48 percent of the 4,408 votes. The kitten was born Nov. 9 to Ralph and Alice.
While press members yesterday may have been disappointed, for those of us who braved the rain to come out today—OK, yes, a day late—Rio made an appearance. At around 11 am, Rio came out of his den to explore the exhibit and eat some tantalizing red meat.
Bill La Marche, the zoo's media relations officer explained that zoo guests shouldn't come with their hearts set on seeing Rio, as he's still getting comfortable in his new environment. Apparently late morning and afternoon are the most promising times to spot the kitten. For those who miss him, here's a video complete with weird soundtrack: