Police officers visit the site along the Naparima/Mayaro Road in George Village Tableland where a dead ocelot was found on Thursday.

The carcass of an ocelot on the side of the road at George Village, Tableland caused a stir in the quiet village yesterday morning. Commuters slowed down while others stopped to take photos and videos, along with villagers.

The ocelot is an endangered and Environmental Sensitive Species and it is also this country’s only native wild cat species.

Onlookers speculated that the animal may have been knocked down by a car while crossing the road or its body dumped either by its owner or an animal trafficker after it died.

However, Michael Khan who works in the area said he saw the occupant of a car dump the ocelot on the side of the road on Wednesday.

He said, “A white Accent pull over on the road, the man open his trunk and he throw this on the ground yesterday and he drive off and he gone. If he wanted he could have throw it more in the bush look where he throw it, on the side of the road.”

Khan was disturbed by the incident.

“That humbug me boy, that real humbug me and nobody eh bounce it. I see when the man throw it out the car, nobody ent bounce that. Whoever put that up on Facebook and say it get bounce dey lie because if you watch it, it have no bruise nothing.”

Khan believed that the ocelot was smuggled into the country from Venezuela and was being kept at someone’s home as a pet. He said the ocelot’s colours were different from the native species. A resident said she drove past the carcass on her way to drop her son to the garden and decided to stop on her way back home. She was hurt over the ocelot’s death and the way in which its body was disposed of.

“I come back to get a picture to put it back on Facebook and see how people does just kill these animals and dump them on the side of the road.”

She said wild animals are sometimes seen in the area on the edge of the roadway. The villager said she recently saw an ocelot and a deer. “I love those animals when you have to go to the zoo to see it and you could just watch it walking in the road and thing. It real sad.”

There are less than 400 ocelots left in the wild in T&T.

Last year the police rescued a baby ocelot from a private home in Maraval and some hikers stumbled upon the gunshot-riddled body of another one while hiking to Madamas waterfalls.

Anyone who harms, hunts, or keeps endangered animals in captivity faces a $100,000 fine or up to two years imprisonment.