A large wildcat resembling a leopard was recently photographed by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trail camera in Texas.
The nighttime image was shared Saturday on Facebook, showing the “majestic feline” as it was creeping into a highway underpass, used by wildlife to avoid traffic.
Though the spotted wildcat looks alarmingly like a leopard — particularly in black and white — experts have identified it as an ocelot, a native species of wild feline that grows to 4 feet in length and 35 pounds. (Leopards grow to more than 6 feet and 130 pounds, LiveScience.com reports.)
To say the species is rare in the U.S. is an understatement.
“There are an estimated 50 ocelots that remain in the United States,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say. “Known as the ‘little leopard,’ ocelots are larger than a house cat but smaller than a bobcat.”
The ocelot in the photo