Last summer, Sara from Wildfoot took part in an incredible wildlife-spotting trip to Brazil, recording every step of her journey for you to read. We have been sharing her daily journal entries on the Wildfoot blog. Today, Sara spots a jaguar and some giant river otters.
Inspired by yesterday’s action, this morning I’m waiting for the boat, ready to leave not long after 5:30 am. It’s much to Wilson’s amazement, but I know that the morning is our best chance of spotting an elusive cat while it’s still cool, and I don’t want to waste a minute.
We’ve been on the water for a couple of hours, without seeing anything of real note, when Wilson suddenly grinds to a halt. There is nothing obvious to be seen, but I nonetheless raise my binoculars and scour the banks for movement – I am a true explorer, now!
After around 10 minutes of seeing nothing, Wilson retreats to his seat and starts the engine, but suddenly out of the corner of my eye I spot a movement, and find a jaguar!
It’s one of those moments when you think you are hallucinating, and from nowhere a beautiful female jaguar was standing only a few metres away from our boat, looking directly at us… it was absolutely mesmerising!
This is the first time I get a chance to really appreciate the true prowess and beauty of these incredible creatures, and I quickly realise I am witnessing something very special.
We spend around half an hour watching this graceful feline walk along the river bank, dipping out of view now and again to navigate the dense jungle, before it finally makes a turn and dissolves into the undergrowth.
This is a moment I will treasure forever, and it was made even better by the fact I didn’t have to share it with a sea of other people… in fact, only two other boats were close by before the jaguar called time on her private showing. We have another sighting a short while later, but just like yesterday, this cat has settled in for the day and is barely in view.
Without spotting another jaguar during the afternoon, we decide to spend some quality time with a family of giant river otters that are known to be nurturing some very small pups. The family is in a playful mood and seems very inquisitive as to our presence. They’re anything but camera shy and seem to be happy for me to snap away at them for well over an hour.
Inevitably, my evening is spent trying to sort through the several hundred photographs I have taken today, which will serve as reminders of my fantastic Brazilian trip.