It is quite rare to see a jaguar in the wild but during our time in the Pantanal, we had two jaguar sightings. The first night when we pulled up to the front lodge, two jaguars were standing on the dirt road, getting ready to cross over to a pond to drink. It was early evening and they moved quickly away.
The third night in the Pantanal, we found a pair of jaguar (our guide thinks it was a mother and daughter) feeding on a cow carcass. They stayed out in the open (it was dark but we could observe them with a spot light) for about 30 minutes. Eventually a large group of peccary (pigs) chased them away. Our guide, Zapa, said that he has heard of peccary chasing jaguars away from a kill but he'd never witnessed it in the wild!
Jaguars are part of the Panthera genus and are one of the largest members of the cat family. Males grow up to 250 pounds and females are a bit smaller. The cat is solitary but kittens stay with the mother for approximately two years, learning to hunt.
We had hoped to see jaguars but didn’t count on it because they are so elusive. Our group felt very lucky to have not one but two sightings of the beautiful beasts.