Your morning adorable: Young ocelots make their debut at the Berlin Zoo

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Two young ocelots born at the Berlin Zoo in mid-November were shown off to media photographers in their first major appearance Tuesday.

The kittens, named Viento and Estrella, posed with their mother Sara for a number of alarmingly cute pictures. Mother ocelots and their kittens have a close bond, but even in the wild, father ocelots aren’t involved in the care of their young.

Ocelots are native to parts of South and Central America, and their range even extends a bit into Texas, where the Nature Conservancy is working to increase their territory by securing land previously held by ranchers.

Their intricately patterned coats once made ocelots popular targets for hunters who sold their skins for use in the fur trade. Crackdowns on the use of ocelot fur have helped their population to rebound over the past several decades, but habitat loss is still a concern for the species, especially their U.S. population.


See more photos of Viento, Estrella and their mother after the jump!

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-- Lindsay Barnett

First photo: Stephanie Pilick / European Pressphoto Agency

Second-seventh photos: AFP/Getty Images