4 comments on “Feral Pigs in the Pantanal

  1. Why is it that all the jaguar kills I have seen on this blog so far of cows?? Are the cows never under the protection of cowboys or some kind of herdsmen? And are they left in the wilderness over night or do the jaguars kill them in their enclosures and drag them out? It seems very strange to me that the owners of the cows would so readily let them get killed so regularly by jaguars. I live in Kenya and I have witnessed the anger that local livestock owners often feel when a predator like a lion or leopard kills one of their animals. It usually results in retaliation by the herders or compensation from a conservation fund to save the predator’s life. So what is the situation at Caiman Ecological Refuge in terms of predator/livestock relationship? From what I have seen so far on this blog, it seems that cows form a larger part of the diet of the Oncafari jaguars than any wild prey species. Surely there is some kind of conflict with the livestock owners? Please reply as I am very puzzled and curious to find out?

  2. Why is it that all the jaguar kills I have seen on this blog so far of cows?? Are the cows never under the protection of cowboys or some kind of herdsmen? And are they left in the wilderness over night or do the jaguars kill them in their enclosures and drag them out? It seems very strange to me that the owners of the cows would so readily let them get killed so regularly by jaguars. I live in Kenya and I have witnessed the anger that local livestock owners often feel when a predator like a lion or leopard kills one of their animals. It usually results in retaliation by the herders or compensation from a conservation fund to save the predator’s life. So what is the situation at Caiman Ecological Refuge in terms of predator/livestock relationship? From what I have seen so far on this blog, it seems that cows form a larger part of the diet of the Oncafari jaguars than any wild prey species. Surely there is some kind of conflict with the livestock owners? Please reply as I am very puzzled and curious to find out.

    • Dear Shema. Thank you for your comment and insight. I hope that you have enjoyed the blog thus far. Your observation is completely correct in a number of ways. I am South African and have spent much time in Kenya and so understand 100% what you are saying about how the locals admire and treat their cows. What is very hard to convey about the Pantanal is the scale of the cattle. To give you an idea Caiman Ecological Refuge has close on 40 000 cows at any one time. The land is divided into ‘block’s – fenced areas that vary in size from a few hectares to over a thousand hectares. And it is WILD. The cattle are released into the ranch at about 1,5 years of age. After that they fend for themselves. The cowboys round up the cattle and move them from block to block to allow the grass in the blocks time to recover. Thus at night the cattle are out in the wild. You cannot herd 40 000 cattle. Kenyan cattle are tiny scale when compared to this. In terms of diet. Jaguars do indeed eat the cattle, although they eat many other things to. I have written about their diet in previous posts. The observation that most of the pictures are of jaguars eating cows is also correct. It does give a hugely overestimated and ballooned sense of whats going on. The truth is simply that currently the easiest time to take a picture of a jaguar is when it is feeding on a carcass. If the carcass is of an indigenous animal, then the jaguar simply picks it up in its jaws and walks into the forest…thus we never get a picture of it. Cattle carcasses are big and can feed a jaguar for a number of days, hence we get the pictures that way. Does the farm owner care about the loss of cattle? Of course he does, but he has realised that guests pay money to see the jaguars and he uses that money as a way to offset what is being lost to the jaguars. he is a very forward thinking man who will not allow retaliation in any form…but you have indeed picked up and identified the hardest issue facing jaguars in the pantanal. I hope this response helps clear things for you. The main thing to get your head round is the scale of the cattle ranching…it is not like anything I have seen in Africa! – Thanks for the comment. Adam

      • Wow! I had no idea that the number of cattle at the Pantanal was that huge. Thank you for the explanation, it all makes perfect sense now. Caiman Ecological Refuge truly is a unique place and I will make sure to visit it one day for sure.

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