We were patiently waiting for the female Jaguar to come out of the thicket. We had managed to find her, using the telemetry, in a dense clump of bushes. Although we could not see her, the tell-tale ‘beep, beep, beep’ confirmed that she was there. She is one of two female jaguars that we are currently monitoring with the help of collars. It was too thick to enter so there was nothing to do but wait. We switched off the light and sat in silence.
The super-moon meant that even with all the lights switched off, it was light enough for us to see if anything moved through the grass. Half an hour ticked by…she must have fallen asleep.
Suddenly we saw movement to the right. 180 degrees from where the ‘beeps’ came from. I slowly reached for the spotlight and turned it on.
I could not believe what we saw…
An Ocelot dragging a large ground bird known as a Red-legged Seriema. Ocelots are almost exclusively nocturnal, and with a huge turn of pace, and very good in trees, they are lethal when it comes to birds. A Seriema, however, is a large bird and to witness this first hand was spectacular.
I scrambled for my camera and with one hand holding the spotlight and the other my camera I managed to press the shutter four times. This is what I got.
The Ocelot had it’s eyes set on the nearby thicket, the same area where the jaguar slept. In no time he/she had managed to pull the bird carcass into the bushes and out of sight.
We left the scene delighted at having seen a truly awesome sighting!
The following morning we walked into the thicket to investigate. We managed to find tracks of both the Ocelot and the female Jaguar, but only a single feather from the poor bird! Is it possible that the Jaguar simply helped herself to the Ocelots meal before the Ocelot had even started to enjoy its meal?Written and photographed by Adam Bannister