Peru: Tambopata Reserve – Jaguar
Two nights of sunset river cruising resulted in no jaguars and I completely gave up hope. After all, this is not Pantanal, where jaguars are almost guaranteed and an average animal roams on 18 sq km. Here, in the remote Amazon, each jaguar covers roughly 120-150 sq km, and it’s miles and miles of impenetrable jungle, so spotting one is not so easy. And when all Hope was lost, and sitting in the early morning boat on the way back to civilization…. here was a beautiful jaguar, strolling along the water’s edge and we followed him for about 30min. Jaguar is the largest cat in the New World, and the third largest in the world after lion and tiger. While it looks remotely similar to leopard, jaguar is quite bigger and stronger and would perhaps rip leopard to pieces in an encounter. Jaguars are also excellent swimmers (unlike leopards), feeding on caymans and capybaras. This beautiful specimen was a perfect ending for the Peruvian Amazon jungle exploration!