The other evening the members of the Projeto Onçafari team were treated to one of the most magical sights. In the morning we had managed to track down a jaguar, finding where he killed a cow. The cat was not at the carcass, but there was still plenty of meat left. We decided to retreat back to camp, during the heat of the day, and then return after dark.
As the sun set on another magical day in the Pantanal, so we got into the car and made our way out into the ever-drying swamps. The jaguar had beaten us to it. We arrived at the carcass to find a young male feverishly eating away at the meat. He was so hungry that he barely acknowledged our presence.
We were able to identify him as “Yara’s Cub”. Of course, as the video and pictures clearly show, this is by no means a cub. The name just stuck. His mother is Yara, one of the oldest jaguars being viewed by the habituation team. We believe her to be in the region of 13-14 years old! Yara’s Cub was born mid way through last year. It is incredible when one sees how large and how quickly these jaguars grow. What is also wonderful to see is how relaxed he was. If ever we wanted proof that the habituation process was working…this was it.
Written, filmed and photographed by Adam Bannister