Monday, August 2, 2010

Chasing Jaguars

Jaguar female resting. Pantanal, Brazil

Five years ago, I took a gamble and went to Brazil's Pantanal to try and photograph wild jaguars. I had only seen one once, in Peru, over a decade before - but that time had not managed to get a picture. Suffice it to say, therefore, that in the intervening years this had become a bit of an obsession with me. This time, I chartered a small boat, hired a local guide, and spent nine days in the sweltering heat following small jungle rivers in search of these secretive cats. By the end of the 9 days, I had seen nine different jaguars - including an astonishing five in one day. I got a handful of OK photos, like the one above;  at the time, one of very few shots of wild jaguars ever taken.  
Now, of course, the location has been discovered,  and photographers like Tom Mangelsen and Steve Winter have spent weeks there. Some amazing pictures have emerged already, and I'm sure there are more on the way, helped by a full-time tourism operation on the site run by legendary biologist Charlie Munn.
I will probably not be back, preferring to find other, less-well-known subjects, but for anyone with a love of big cats, rarely seen or photographed anywhere else - this is a great opportunity.  Have a look at :

Also, look at the Pantanal trip offered by Terra Incognita Tours here.

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