J is for Jaguar
Photo of Jaguar by Jannick Turbe on Flikr.
Jaguars are the largest cat in South America, and are now mainly confined to the Amazon basin. Formerly they used to roam as far north as the US/Mexico border.
They have the most beautiful coats – golden light marked with black rosettes.
Unlike most other cats they are good swimmers and often frequent river banks to ambush prey going to drink, and using stealth they also tackle creatures like crocodiles and caymen. They drop from trees and stalk prey through the forest – but in each case they kill by pouncing from behind, crushing neck vertebrae and skulls with one powerful bite.
Female jaguars usually have two babies, but can have up to four – she defends them fiercely, even from the male, as male jaguars are prone to infanticide.
Jaguars are falling prey to fragmentation of their habitat and are still hunted for their exquisite pelt.
They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Photo © Jannick Turbe.
Poem © Liz Brownlee
Information from Wiki.
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