THE CAT IN FRONT IS A JAGUAR
Paul Goldstein gets in a cat flap about his latest feline quarry…
I had been told of the Pantanal’s fantastic birdlife. I am always suspicious of this boast. Whenever I read this about trips in Africa, it invariably euphemistically means 'no cats'. I had also been told of the percentage of success rate - lies, damned lies.
The light was dropping and the temperature sunk to an Arctic 32 degrees, when suddenly the Yamaha outboard cut to an indulgent chortle and, lounging on the beach in front of us was a jaguar. A lone male jaguar. Twice the size of a leopard and bigger than a lioness.
I have been lucky enough to spend many of my last twenty years with big cats but little prepared me for this monster. For twenty two minutes he surveyed his dumbstruck gallery before getting a couple of pints in at the bank and exiting stage left.
Yes there are wonderful birds here, river otters and caimans too, but when you label a safari Land of the Jaguar, you need to deliver what it says on the tin. This one did. In spades.
What a cat, what a safari!