If you’re a fan of Joe Rogan, you may have heard his conversation with renowned wildlife conservationist, outdoorsman, writer and host of MeateaterSteve Rinella on the debate over reintroducing jaguars to “core habits” in the United States.
According to him, it’s irrefutable that jaguars once roamed at least in certain parts of the lower 48.
Some sources list documented populations from Texas to California, and there is fossil evidence that suggests they could have ranged as far and wide as the Pacific Northwest, Pennsylvania, and Florida, although the data is less reliable.
Take a listen to Joe and Steve’s discussion of the topic here.
Obviously, when an animal with the prowess of the jaguar may be reintroduced to the country, there’s a lot of very strong opinions on both sides, but I was more interested in learning the differences between these wild cats and the vicious mountain lions we already have.
There’s no doubt that mountain lions are truly specimens in their own right, just take a look at this guy caught on a trailcam in Arizona, so are jaguars really that different?
One quick video search gave me my answer…
NatGeo Wild posted a video that was shot as part of their 2017 series Big Cat Week which shows just how terrifying these feline are.
The Amazon region in Brazil is home to the largest population of jaguars on the planet, with an estimate of 10,000 still roaming wild. Their diet typically consists of small mammals like deer, capybara, tapirs, and peccaries, but they’re also not afraid to get in the water and see what they can find, which is exactly what the jaguar in this video did.
Named “Scarface” from the remnants of his battles for supremacy, he’s a male in his prime that is top dog in the region.
And to prove that, he decided to take out a caiman, cousin of the crocodile, for a midday snack…
He stalks the unwitting creature from an elevated shoreline, waiting for just the right moment to pounce. When that moment comes, the graceful power he leaps with looks almost otherworldly.
Flying straight down on top of the caiman, he grabs a hold with his jaws, securing the caiman to its fate, before swimming back to shore, tossing it over his shoulder, climbing the bank, and bringing it to the shadows where he will chow down.
Yes, he actually is able to throw the caiman around like a dog toy. I’ve watched this probably 10 times now, I just can’t get over it.
So if you asked me before this video how I felt about jaguars coming back to America, I may have said “Hell yeah, that would be sweet!”
But now? Certainly have a lot more questions…
What an awesome creature.
Sneaky Jaguar Launches Attack On Unsuspecting Caiman
Next to lions and tigers, jaguars are the largest cats in the world. And since there are no lions and tigers in the Americas, that makes jaguars the biggest cats in the Americas.
They can grow to lengths of up to about 6-feet long and on average can get up to as much as 200-pounds. Imagine your house cat but 20 times the size.
Jaguars mostly inhabit South and Central America, but their populations are recovering through Mexico as well. Historically their native range also included Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and even parts of Louisiana and California as well.
There has been discussion recently regarding the idea of reintroducing jaguars to the southwest part of the United States, but I’m thinking hard pass on that.
I mean, do I want to have to worry about jaguars mauling me while I ride a donkey down to the Grand Canyon? I don’t think so…
The spotted pattern of their fur not only looks really cool, but it actually serves as camouflage when they’re hunting in dense shadowy forests and swamps. Jaguars are some of the most fierce hunters on the planet, with a bite strong enough to crush the shells of turtles and tortoises, and as we’re gonna see here in a minute, the tough skin of alligators and crocs.
And here’s the thing… unlike most cats, they do not fear the water and are frequently willing to jump in the water to make a kill. In fact, they move so quietly in the water it almost reminds of that (kinda corny) scene in Act Of Valor when the SEALS catch the falling body from the water.
Usually, it’s gators, crocs and caimans attacking animals on the shore, however for this swimming jaguar, the tables are turned.
“When a jaguar pounces, sometimes one bite is all it takes to get a meal. National Geographic has exclusive video of a jaguar taking down a caiman in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands, photos of which went viral earlier this month.
Luke Dollar, a conservation scientist who helps manage National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, explains the hunt and explosive moment of predation.”
This sneaky jungle kitty made short work of this caiman.
Kid Gives Hilarious Interview After Florida Man Sticks Hand In Zoo’s Jaguar Cage
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
According to News 4 Jacksonville, a Florida man was pretty badly injured after he decided to hop the barrier and stick his hand in the jaguar cage at the Jacksonville zoo.
The jaguar did what jaguars do and swatted the guys arm, resulting in a serious claw wound. Lucky for the man, it was only a swipe. Had the jaguar decided to bite the man’s arm, he likely would have lost it.
The man was taken by ambulance to a hospital, but his injury is not expected to be life threatening.
Dude is clearly a moron, but the best part of this entire story?
The kid they interviewed after it happened.
As you might expect when a massive jaguar takes a swipe at some dude’s arm, a bucket of blood is gonna be left on the floor of the zoo. And for one Montana kid who stumbled upon the bloody scene, he couldn’t wait to find this guy.
“I want to follow the trail of blood and I want to see if we can find this guy because I was wondering if he got bit up here, down here…
Or if he literally just got his whole arm ripped off.”
Ah, the inquisitive minds of children… you gotta love it.
Elephants? Hippos? The hell with these dumb animals, I wanna see what’s left of this guy’s arm. I mean, it’s not every day that you stumble upon a trail of blood from an animal attack… you gotta follow the trail, right?
But what they should’ve done is hand the mic over to this kid, walk him out to the parking lot, pop open that ambulance door, and let the kid interview Florida Man.