“PORTO ALEGRE – Threatened by extinction, the margay – also known as the gato-maracajá – appeared on Avenida Bento Gonçalves, one of the main throroughfares of Porto Alegre (POA), and quickly became a celebrity. Scared by the gathering of people, the animal was rescued by fire department, although soon enough it should be sent back to its habitat.” – Source
This is just the first little paragraph and already they slipped in little words to guide our perception. In the last sentence, we see the word ‘rescued’ and the phrase ‘sent back to its habitat’ yet no one wonders if where it was found is/was its natural habitat. I wouldn’t go as far as to say we are the ones who should be in trees hiding from the animals but I do think it’s a shame to kill off any species. I just wanted to give a mini-rant for this mini-animal.
The Margay, or Gato-Maracajá as it’s known in Portuguese, is a spotted cat native to Central and South America. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal that prefers remote sections of the rainforest. Although it was once believed to be vulnerable to extinction, the IUCN now lists it as “Near Threatened”. It roams the rainforests from Mexico to Argentina.
The Margay can weigh about 6.6–20 lbs, have a body length of 18 to 32 in and a tail length of 13 to 20 in. It is very similar to the larger Ocelot, although the head is a bit shorter, the tail and legs are longer, and the spotted pattern on the tail is different. Most notably the Margay is a much more skillful climber than its relative, and it is sometimes called the Tree Ocelot because of this skill. Whereas the Ocelot mostly pursues prey on the ground, the Margay may spend its entire life in the trees, leaping after and chasing birds and monkeys through the treetops. Indeed, it is one of only two cat species with the ankle flexibility necessary to climb head-first down trees (the other being the Clouded Leopard). Its ankles can turn up to 180 degrees, it can grasp branches equally well with its fore and hind paws, and it is able to jump considerable distances. The Margay has been observed to hang from branches with only one foot. The Margay can jump vertically 18 feet and jump horizontally 23 feet.
Here’s a video of a Margay ‘doing Parkour‘ as one commentor stated.