Pantanal Safari: Our 7th Jaguar Sighting in 3.5 Days

Ben”s news from the Flotel (Pantanal Safari): 

An overcast, misty, and somewhat chilly morning meant that we donned jackets before setting out. We headed to a channel named Black Creek – or the Portuguese equivalent … where we found a family of Giant Otters frolicking in the water and on the banks. We photographed them until they retired into the undergrowth and we could no longer see them.

a1a Giant Otter-5

We started to photograph Herons and Kingfishers in the every, misty conditions and then came the welcome call – a jaguar had been spotted on a neighbouring river.

So off we went to rendezvous with our 6th jaguar (7 sightings) in 3.5 days! How lucky can one be?!?

And this jaguar was a total contrast to yesterday”s Adriano. A small female, very beautiful, was crouching on one side of the river, staring intently at the opposite bank. We followed her line of sight and there, almost hidden by the jungle foliage, was a family of Capybaras.

a1a Cappybara-1

We hoped that the jaguar would try to cross the river, and positioned ourselves so as not to hinder her. Back and forth she paced, staring, staring across, clearly trying to decide how to solve the problem of a river between her and a meal. She walked around, lay down for a bit, –

a1a Jaguar-4

– and then restlessly returned to the waters edge again.

Finally, she gave up and disappeared into the dense undergrowth. We decided to return to the Flotel for a quick lunch, and then headed straight back to the spot, hoping that she would reappear.

As we travelled back we passed a sandy island covered with caimans. They were scattered around, and concentrated mostly on a sandy point on the island. We used wide-angle lenses to capture the impact of the numbers soaking up the warmth.


When we reached the spot where the female jaguar should have been she was still resting in the dark bushes, and just then we received another radio call – yet another jaguar had been spotted very close by. We headed in that direction, only to be told that “our” female jaguar had woken up and was on the move. Hoping that she would decide to swim across the river we hastily returned to her.

There she was, again pacing back and forth, clearly wanting to cross the water. We silently tried to will her across, but no! Not today! But of course our memory cards are filled with fabulous shots of the really lovely young lady as she walked back and forth. 

We remained with her until we had to use flashes for the final images and it was time to return to the Flotel for our by now routine pics of the Fishing Bats that fed busily until the insects disappeared.

Maybe the young female will decide to cross the river tomorrow …