Originally Posted by GQgeek
Do you have a thing for Jaguars? I read a book about a woman in Belize that was doing research on them. I forget her name, although google would probably tell me pretty quickly. There's an outfit in brazil that's now guaranteeing Jaguar sightings in the wild. I'm considering it for the future, although probably not for my upcoming trip, since it would cut too far in to my budget and prevent me from staying down there as long as I want. I absolutely love them though. They're beautiful cats and amazing creatures.
I do find them perhaps the most fascinating of the big cats, especially because we used to have them in Southern California albeit a bit before my time. The last known case of a jaguar being killed in SoCal was one that was shot near Palm Springs in 1861. A pair were shot near Ft. Tejon in 1855. One was killed in Baja California as recently 1955.
Although not nearly as dangerous to man in the wild as the lion, tiger or leopard, they are by far the most dangerous cat in captivity. I once went with my grandfather, who was in the movie business (twice nominated for an Oscar), out to the World Jungle Compound in Thousand Oaks that provided a lot of animals for the film industry. He wanted to rent a jaguar for a movie set in South America that he was working on. The proprietors said they wouldn't have a jaguar on the property--far too dangerous. My grandfather settled for a puma. The L.A. Zoo for many years displayed a jaguar that had killed a keeper at another zoo. A young woman I knew who was a family friend was and is a professional animal trainer. She raised a pair of jaguars from cubs. When he was about 18 months old (as I recall), the male made a determined attempt to kill her. She was lucky to escape unscather. Thereafter he was relentless in his attempts to get her. This occurred at Tippi Hedrin's Shambala Preserve in Acton. Tippi wrote in her memoir that she was extremely relieved to get rid of those jaguars.
I think it's neat that they are recolonizing the American Southwest. I just hope the damn Border Fence project doesn't put paid to this.