Caiman Ecological Refuge is renowned for its healthy jaguar population. What isn’t as well known is that the second largest cat in the Americas, the Puma, is also present here in good numbers.
Mountain Lion, Cougar, Lynx and Panther are all names, which may be used to describe the puma. The puma is significantly smaller than the jaguar and by in large these two predators avoid any interaction. The jaguar is much larger and stronger and it stands to reason that the puma will be weary of the spotted cat.
Projeto Onçafari is hoping that in the process of habituating the jaguars of the area, that we will also be relaxing the puma population. With time, this may become the best place in the world to view these two big cats in the wild. Have a look at the footage below and you will understand what I mean.
What you cannot see in the above footage is that literally 100m away, at the exact same time, was a female jaguar feeding on another kill. The entire scene took place in the short grass at around 7pm in the evening. From the safety and comfort of the car we were able to view both magnificent cats at the same time. Turn to the left and see a puma, shine the spotlight and see jaguar! I never believed that would be possible.
The puma was content to feed on her prize, knowing that the jaguar was happily feeding on her own kill. However, the second that the jaguar began to roar, the puma sprinted away in opposite direction. She was confident and relaxed with the vehicle, but the prospect of a confrontation with the jaguar was to be avoided at all costs.
Note: Puma concolor holds the Guinness record for the animal with the highest number of names, presumably due to its wide distribution across North and South America. It has over 40 names in English alone. Have a look at the list below for just a few of these names…
Written, filmed and photographed by Adam Bannister