Recently my Dad and I traveled to Brazil and explored such iconic ecosystems like the Amazon and Pantanal. The diversity of wildlife in these regions is extraordinary, however in the back of our minds we hoped to see the undisputed Lord of the region, the mighty jaguar. Jaguars are a threatened species and very elusive, so finding one would not be easy. One late afternoon we were rewarded with what would be our first of three jaguar sightings. We could barely see the big cat among the tangle of rainforest vegetation, but it was still an amazing highlight. After a few minutes the jaguar rose to his feet, stretched mightily and actually came down the river embankment and gave us an extraordinary view of his magnificence. His power and beauty radiated from him and our day, our entire trip was made. He was a healthy, handsome 250 lb adult male and as he yawned he exposed his powerful canine teeth. Jaguars, although the third largest wildcat, actually have the strongest jaw pressure of any felid. They are able to piece the skin of tough prey such as armadillos, caiman and even a turtle's shell. We enjoyed our entire unforgettable experience with this magnificent cat and would even be rewarded again a few days later watching him stalk a capybara.
Long live the Lord of the Rainforest and all who reside in his domain.