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Sex on the Beach

Where do baby jaguars come from?


Our morning began as they all do with a cruise downstream from Jaguar Retreat. A surprise awaiting us around one of the countless bends which the guide and boat pilot know well but Gene and I are hard pressed to discern one from another. Two wild buffalo males were in the water, feeding (I think) on the succulent leaves overhanging the river. We stopped to watch them and after a short while the dominant male clumsily climbed up the bank but the second male could not get a foothold. Giving up, the male still in the river swam and floated downstream looking for an easier place to scale the bank. That place did not come. I had not before noticed the fact that there are places where one can climb the bank and then there are places where escaping the river for the sanctuary of dry land would be impossible--even for those of us with opposing thumbs. For this buffalo, clearly tiring and--perhaps--stressing a bit, the fruitless search was too much so he swam across the stream to the opposite bank, a distance of perhaps 100 feet in a medium to fast current.

Seeing this, the dominant male left behind entered the water and swam after him. It was touching to see.large_WildBuffalo1In1Out.JPG

The two of them, both stressing and tiring, failed to find a suitable exit point so they re-crossed the stream only to be frustrated once more. We were following in our boat, keeping a distance so as to not add to their stress but feeling compassion for these creatures. It was early in the morning so caiman were not yet astir but it wouldn't have mattered at this point; these creatures would be too big for even the largest caiman to take down...until the fatigue that was gathering for the both of them would intervene.

After about a half hour and, perhaps, a mile's swim, a landing spot presented itself--but not without re-crossing the river. They--and we--breathed a sigh of relief and we went our separate ways.

Soon the radio crackled with word that a pair of jaguars were walking the bank about a twenty minute fast cruise away so we hit the throttle to make for that spot. Our trek was interrupted by a sighting of a lone jaguar lounging on the bank. We stopped to watch her for a while and then continued our journey to find the pair.large_JaguarStretching.JPG

It was there that their mating ritual was happening. Tom tells us that jaguars will mate twenty or so times in a short span of time. From observation, mating lasts around ten seconds and is finished with a bit of snarling, biting and then decoupling followed by nonchalance about the whole experience. Then, it was rinse and repeat until they disappeared into very tall grass and our voyeur experience came to an end. I needed a drink so I popped the top on a local favorite. GuaranaKuat.JPG

Thereafter we embarked on a lengthy cruise to a small channel where we stopped to fish for a few minutes. I quickly caught a fine piranha which we threw back. A capybara and caiman watched from nearby.large_PaulCaughtAPirhana.JPGlarge_CapybaraAndCaiman.JPG

After that, it was time to return to Jaguar Retreat for a noon lunch and--for the others a siesta--a chance to write these words and download photographs.

We head out for our afternoon search at 2:30.

One more thing: in an earlier post I mentioned the a Tilley Hat kept me safer from the sun. I got this question: what is a Tilley Hat. Here is the answer for that. TillyHat.JPG

Posted by paulej4 10:32 Archived in Brazil Tagged caiman pantanal cuiabá jaguars

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