Marco Werman: And we have one more World Cup-related item for you today. For this one, I took a little trip to the rainforest, as in the rainforest right here in Boston at the Franklin Park Zoo to meet our World Cup-predicting ocelot, Izzy.
So this is very exciting. We're going to have another Izzy pick in a few moments for tomorrow's match between the USA and Germany. We're going to see how Izzy rules on what's going to happen in 24 hours.
"This is PR1 to Forest 10, we are ready for Izzy to come out."
And the stage is set, we're now just waiting for Izzy. Oh, he's going straight for the USA. There was no hesitation. Saw that leaf and just started munching. Wait a minute, walking now away from the USA. After one taste of the leaf, Izzy is on a rock and now sniffing Germany and munching Germany. Munching a German leaf. Munched a US leaf, munched a German leaf. Now wait, one leaf and one leaf. And now moving down toward the water and taking another bite of Germany. You know, if you look at those leaves as goals, the US just lost to Germany.
And we have Izzy's zookeeper, Jeannine Jackle, in the studio with us today. Welcome to our zoo, Janine.
Jeannine Jackle: Thank you, it's good to be here.
Werman: We don't have any bars but we do have a lot of glass around here.
Jackle: Smells good.
Werman: I'll take that as a compliment. Izzy did knock down and walk over the Germany sign. Can we see that as an omen, maybe?
Jackle: Oh, definitely. Definitely. I think he was just taking out Germany and going for USA. That's my interpretation, anyway.
Werman: I wanted to talk a little bit about Izzy but ocelots in general. Izzy is an ocelot, some have described ocelots as dwarf leopards but there's many subspecies. But basically is that the deal? It's a small kind of leopard?
Jackle: Yes, definitely. Some people call them small leopards. There's 9 subspecies of ocelot but scientists debate exactly what is a subspecies and how they're different but they're basically found, in this country, in the lower portions of Texas all the way into Central and South America, all the way down as far as Argentina. So they're found in a very, very broad area. They break up into smaller groups depending on where the areas are and how much habitat loss is in their country and so they're found in different pockets here and there.
Werman: It helps that Brazil has native ocelots as well?
Jackle: Brazil has native ocelots.
Werman: But they're endangered, I gather?
Jackle: They're endangered in a lot of parts of the world. In some parts they're fairly plentiful. I believe the Brazilian population's numbers are going down due to hunting and habitat loss but there's still a fairly good amount in the Amazon basin. This country, definitely, the numbers are very, very low. In zoos, there aren't very many. There's only about 30 Brazilian ocelots in America in the zoos. For us, it's important to try and get the numbers up.
Werman: I gather Isidoro has fathered a number of baby ocelots?
Jackle: He has, he's had at least 5 babies out there and he's had 3 males and 2 females.
Werman: Okay, so Izzy is keeping the species alive.
Jackle: He's doing really well.
Werman: What do they eat? Because we've seen Izzy go to these potted bamboo stalks and eat those leaves. Vegetarian?
Jackle: No, he's actually a meat eater. All cats are carnivores, as well as the ocelot. In the wild, mainly they would eat mice and other small rodents. They might eat birds and pretty much anything they can catch. In zoos, we feed them carnivore meat that we purchase for them that has all the vitamins and everything they need in it. They do like the grass. Domestic cats like grass too.
Werman: Well, Jeannine Jackle, curator of the rainforest at the Franklin Park Zoo here in Boston. Thanks for dropping by, it was great to meet you.
Jackle: You're welcome, it was great to be here, thank you.
Werman: You can get the latest from Izzy minus the catnip. Follow this oracle-like Brazilian cat on Twitter at Izzypicks.