Ocelot Sultan

Sultan Ocelot


Male Ocelot

DOB 8/1/97 – 10/11/09
Sultan must be is a throw back to some relative far different than his parents who both have a reddish base coat.  Sultan’s fur is more silver than red, making him Big Cat Rescue’s most striking Ocelot.  The lighting in this photo just doesn’t do his gorgeous coat justice.

He is a great climber and spends most of his time in his tree.

He is also a con artist and will beg you to pet and scratch him, but in true Ocelot fashion, will then turn and bite.  It doesn’t seem to be his intention to hurt anyone as he is just acting playful, but his teeth and claws are like razors.

Sultan has been an active participant in our new operant conditioning programs. He is so food motivated that he has learned many new behaviors very quickly. Once upon a time it was almost impossible to feed him due to him reaching out and acting psycho now he will lay down patiently for his food.

While some of our ocelots were born here prior to 1998 we quit breeding ocelots when we learned that there are no release programs for exotic cats.  They can never be free.  They should never be born for life in cages.




While I never worked with or around Sultan, that was not necessary to observe his antics.  Those antics, now in retrospect to me, were his way of showing his frustration with captivity.  That said, one of the most memorable times was when I observed Kathryn trying to fill his water bowl… four or five or more times… I have never seen more contortions in a manic effort to dump his water bowl and to get his entire body in with his water bowl.  I needed to move on with my cleaning but the image of Sultan thwarting Kathryn’s futile water bowl filling attempts will be with me forever.  I will miss that wonderful Ocelot, his intelligence, grace and unique beauty.  I am glad he is now free……Lisa, Volunteer Keeper


My best memory of Sultan was one in which I had recently been given my green shirt and things were still low on volunteers out there at BCR. I had been cleaning all day and was pulling weeds in the snow leopard section to kill time before feeding. I was in between Sultan and Sundari’s enclosures (Sultan was in his old location) and those were two cats I both gave a lot of distance to, given their crazy attitudes towards me. Sultan had always been a cat in which we, the senior volunteers, drilled into people to be careful around or else! So, I was stepping over the barricade and the classic shorts snagging on the wire happened when I tugged my shorts and jerked towards Sultan’s cat-a-tat. I immediately felt two slight punches to my side. I expected to find blood, a ripped shirt, my organs hanging out when, to my amazement, I looked to my side and saw nothing.  It had been a claws-in swat. A “dry” clawing if you will. I looked at Sultan who was looking all proud of himself and gloating around as to let me know he granted me this ONE time to get close to his domain and should it ever happen again, he couldn’t guarantee a safe passage again. I will miss him. He was a beautiful ocelot…..Brian, Former Director


I was trained by Marie to clean Sultan’s enclosure and I never saw him try to “get her,” as I was told that’s what he does often.  It was like he waited for Marie everyday for play time.  Sultan would run up his tree, sit on his platform, look at Marie, then come flying down head first out of that tree…I never laughed so hard.  When I started to clean his enclosure every day I was at BCR, I continued the same habit.  I would stop and play with him for a while.  He was so silly.  He had this habit of contorting himself into a ball and he rolled around the enclosure…brought tears to my eyes, I’d laugh so hard. Then, without fail, up the tree lightning fast, to the platform, only to come right back down head first.  I always wanted to capture that on film and now I never will.  I still cry when I go past his enclosure.  He is gone from us way too early…but he is free and I’m sure climbing a tree somewhere in animal heaven.  We all will miss our crazy boy…Regina, Volunteer Senior Keeper


I did not see Sultan often perhaps, because he knew how important it was to tell Shaquille’s story, or, later, so we would not disturb Chloe, but when he did appear, I could not help but think how aptly he was named. He would parade around his enclosure as if showing his subjects his realm, then disappear and reappear to make sure he had our attention. He was not crazy; he was holding on to the wild, and now is free and will be sorely missed….Deborah, Volunteer Keeper


So many good memories about Sultan…
He was so playful… I would always tell him that he was the most beautiful Ocelot. But, whenever his fur didn’t look so good, I would always have a tear in the corner of my eye… Poor Sultan!
He was so big, strong and fast! Every time I would go to play with him, I believe that all his neighbors around would get so jealous and would just wait for their turn to play…
I could see Lola, who was of course the very next on line, getting impatient, as well as Chloe, Sundari, Precious, Reno and even Hal across the “street”… they all were watching this funny boy running and going up and down his tree… coming down was the funniest thing I ever saw… head first!!! Wow, what a beautiful boy he was! Goodbye my “Prince”, Goodbye my “Sultan!” I will miss you……Marie, Volunteer Senior Keeper


Sultan taught me skills I’m still looking to capitalize on.  The best being how to stuff a pile of pine needles into his den so he’d be warm during the cold nights – only it had to be done from outside his enclosure, through 2”x4” wire openings, with an 8’ long pole, standing at least 3’ back so that “quick as can be ocelot” wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near me.  He, more than any other cat there, convinced me that you’d have to be crazy to want this as a pet! He just wanted freedom, that’s all he really wanted.  I wish he had gotten it some other way than this, it’s so sad…..Julie, Volunteer Senior Keeper


Sultan, I will miss your running out to greet me on cleaning days, asking for your grass to play with. Talking to me the entire time I am cleaning your enclosure.  I thank you for the wonderful time that we shared in our short time together.  Gale, Volunteer Senior Keeper


I’ll always remember Sultan’s remarkably beautiful coat. He was elusive, as I remember, but he was so handsome. I know, the best of care he received, made him a joy to see. Enjoy your freedom now, Sultan! You will be missed……Rosie, Volunteer Keeper

More Memorials at https://bigcatrescue.org/category/memorials/

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