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pedro maia

As I wrotte in my (not) Big Year topic, I´ve been last week at Pantanal (North) where I had the most amazing time and the sighting of a lifetime, since it will take a while until I have a TR of the trip I thought that sighting deserved a report of it´s own, so here it goes.

 

A couple of things before starting, the video parts have poor quality because they were made with the mobile phone (so I could keep watching what was happening without looking through something), and I must leave here a warning, the images are going to be quite graphic...

 

It all happened when we were getting back to the river after lunch, we stayed at the Santa Rosa Hotel (more on that on the proper TR), a bit further than the Porto Jofre hotel, I must confess I was a bit sleepy after having a couple of caipirinhas by the pool so I wasn´t paying much attention to the first part of the boat ride, in the first strecht of the São Lourenço river there isn´t much action, it normally starts after it´s called Cuiabá (I think).

Anyway, in the corner of the São Lourenço with the Piquiri river there were a 3/4 boats close to the shore, we went to check what was going on and there was this beauty, we were told that she had crossed from the other shore of the São Lourenço where a floating hotel for fishermen was anchored.

 

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It was a female jaguar known as Ãgue, which means Ghost, and she seemed sleepier than me, by that time she already had my whole attention, of course.

 

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What a gorgeous cat

 

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A bit of grooming

 

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and imposing some respect

 

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pedro maia

And then things changed, she moved up the river bank and the reason soon became obvious, she had spotted something.

 

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That thing was a yacare laying in the shallow by some tree trunks nearly at the Piquiri river mouth, excitement started to grow, now there were 10/12 boats (in other times there would be many more) and we were all hoping for some real action.

 

We lost sight of Ãgue for some moments as she tried to sneak unnoticed to reach attacking distance, my wife was saying that she was gone but after seeing loads of documentaries I knew that in a situation like that no predator would leave the scene without at least trying and failing, so I just kept my cell phone over my knees with the finger ready, started shooting in vain for a couple of times until...

 

She jumped!!!

 

 

It´s a bad video but it shows everything that unfolded right in front of us, I never expected or even dreamed of watching a jaguar catching a yacare 20 meters in front of me.

 

By the way, there was a boat with a BBC crew that filmed everything so we can expect to see this kill in a documentary in a near (or not so near) future, they were also ecstatic.

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pedro maia

After filming for a while it was time to get back to the camera as Ãgue finished the poor yacare and started to pull it up in the river bank.

 

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She dragged it to behind a fallen tree trunk, recovered her breath

 

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pedro maia

and started feeding on the yacare´s head!!

 

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Once again she dragged the yacare, that thankfully was already dead, now images get really bloody

 

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a quick rest

 

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back to work

 

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pedro maia

And things kept getting better (except for the yacare, but as cruel as it looks it´s just nature working) as Ãgue started to cross the Piquiri river mouth holding her kill

 

 

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Now she had to drag it to a sand bank, impressive the strength of that cat

 

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pedro maia

Still a shalow to cross

 

 

time for some rest

 

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and time to go away

 

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with the obvious but useless attention of a Blac vulture

 

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It was the last time I saw Ãgue, later we were told that later she had gone back to the other shore of the São Lourenço to get her two cubs!!, since then they stayed inside the jungle feeding on the yacare, we went back there but missed them just by a couple of minutes after they got out to have a drink, our last moments at the river were spent waiting and hoping for them to show up, that didn´t happen and we had to leave after sunset, knowing that we had the ultimate wildlife experience, it´s very unlikely that we see something even close to that in another trip, but who knows...

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Athene

Fantastic jaguar sighting @pedro maia

Now I am waiting for your trip report to come:)

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michael-ibk

Fantastic Pedro, what an über-awesome sighting. Great photos! You must have been ecstatic. 🙂

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Julian

Awesome! Once in a lifetime sighting.

 

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Zubbie15

Great stuff @pedro maia, what an awesome sighting. Can't wait for the full TR. 

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Kitsafari

wowowowowowowow WOW!

 

when i saw your blurred image on your BY i knew it was this, but never dreamt she would swim with it!

 

My total respect and admiration for the Jaguar just jumped 1001% when she swam across the large river with the caiman that was bigger than her! it makes a leopard bringing up an antelope up the tree look like a child's game (well mb that's an exaggeration). what a mother would do to feed her cubs. 

 

Incredible. 

 

Very pleased for you to capture such a sighting. 

Edited by Kitsafari
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Atravelynn

The power of that jaguar to swim with such large prey!  Truly amazing.

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TonyQ

A great sighting, and that is a really big Yacare. It shows how powerful the Jaguar is.

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Dave Williams

That sighting alone makes the trip a huge success even if you saw nothing else. Nice one Pedro!

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BRACQUENE

Well I only just discovered this one a few minutes ago @ pedro ma

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BRACQUENE

Well I only discovered this one a few minutes ago as i went to bed early last night  @pedro maiabefore my reaction went online also to early :D and I am impressed I can tell you : these are much more than just teaser images from a trip that surely has been fantastic ! 

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Soukous

WOW! that looks like an amazing sighting.

No need to rush with the TR - I'm happy to look at those photos over & over again

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