Jaguar on the sand bank – Pantanal, Brazil 2022

Jaguar on the sand bank. As the sun was setting on a ferociously hot day in Brazil’s Northern Pantanal, we came across this beautiful male Jaguar walking slowly along the river bank. As he reached an exposed sand bank he settled down to a bit of grooming. Like us, he was suffering from the attention of large numbers of mosquitoes. We left him in peace and as we headed back to the lodge at Porto Jofre we enjoyed a refreshingly cold beer.

In the Northern Pantanal, male Jaguars have an average weight of 95kg and stand 0.75m at the shoulder. The structure of the jaw (muscles and teeth) give the Jaguar a greater bite force than any other cat. They can kill any reptile (one of their favourite prey species in the Yacare Caiman) with a single bite to the right point on the brain cavity. Jaguars will take a wide range of prey species but the preferred species appear to be peccaries, capybaras, and caiman. One of the issues for the jaguar is that they frequently take cattle which makes them a target for farmers.

The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wet land and flooded grasslands. Whilst mostly located in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, it also extends into Mato Grosso and parts of Paraguay and Bolivia. It covers an area of up to 195,000 square kilometres (75,000 square miles) and some 80%of the floodplains are submerged during the rainy season. It is a remarkable place.