Rare ocelot comes to the Tallahassee Museum on June 13
By Reginald Alceus – DEMOCRAT WRITER – June 12, 2009
The Tallahassee Museum is showcasing two new attractions exclusively for summer beginning Saturday and running through the end of September.
The museum is offering the public the chance to see the rare and exotic ocelot, and for history buffs, there’s the “Florida in the Civil War” exhibit.
The Civil War exhibit was borrowed from the Historical Society of Central Florida. Linda Deaton, chief curator of collections and exhibits, said the exhibit would have a good connection with the historic structures already existing at the museum, such as the Bellevue Plantation House.
“Being a history museum, the exhibit will help (visitors) to focus on an important time in Florida and national history as well,” Deaton said. The exhibit will display artifacts, wardrobes and personal articles belonging to Union and Confederate soldiers as well as slaves.
“The Tallahassee Museum provides an outstanding way for visitors to see what life was like in this region 100 to 150 years ago,” said Laura Cassels, public relations and marketing manager. Mike Jones, curator of animals, said having the ocelot gives visitors the chance to see a different type of animal. The ocelot, a species of cat native to Central America and the Amazon rain forest, is rare due to poaching by fur traders. The 9-year-old ocelot is borrowed from the Carnivore Preservation Trust in Pittsboro, N.C.
“We hope having an animal like this will raise awareness that will benefit wildlife everywhere, but particularly here close to home,” Jones said.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org