lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

J is for Jaguar

One of the most beautiful, golden cats has to be the jaguar. Here is a brilliant photo by Diriye Amey on Flikr, of a jaguar in the wild at Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa.

Diriye Amey - Jaguar




She moves as smooth

as shadow clouds

and leaves the ground

as still,


her skin is light

and glides her bones,

her eyes sun bright;

she prowls alone


and follows

scent until


between breath

in and out

she takes a

heartbeat pause,


throws a leap

of teeth and claws,


and bites through

the skull

of her kill.


© Liz Brownlee


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.

They see six times as well as us in the dark due to a reflective area in the back of their eyes.

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 killing young.

Jaguars are falling prey to fragmentation of their habitat and are still hunted for their exquisite pelt.

Their name derives from the South African word ‘yajuar’ which means he who kills with one leap.

They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

This video was taken when the President and CEO of the WWF was visiting the Tapajós River in Brazil’s Juruena National Park. By complete coincidence he was in a boat crossing the river when he and the crew spotted one of the world’s rarest cats – a pure black jaguar.


Photo © Diriye Amey

Poem © Liz Brownlee

Information from Wiki.

If you would like to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click here.

If you’d like to read about or buy my book, Animal Magic, full of animal poems and fascinating facts, click here.


  1. This is my favourite cat especially the black jaguar. They are so sleek and mysterious. I love your poem especially that ending! I couldn’t watch the video for some reason-later I will try on Youtube


  2. Beverly

    A beautiful animal, and your poem is lovely. I’m posting about animals for the A to Z too. You have some very nice choices. I have the Jaguar too. Time difference – my post isn’t up yet. Great information about this animal, one of my favorites.


    • Hello Beverly, thank you, I’m trying to see all the animal posts, I’ll come to see you now!


  3. Beautiful poem – so majestic and then violent. It’s such a shame a beautiful creature like that is so threatened.
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)


    • It is. But every time a section of rainforest is burnt down not just cats, but apes like orangutans, monkeys, birds, insects, butterflies, elephants and all sorts are brought nearer to extinction, and not just that, many are burnt with the trees.


  4. Your poem captured the jaguar beautifully – sleek and sinuous and then the sudden violent end. A jaguar coat looks so much better on the animal than on a rich bitch’s back.


  5. Great poem it’s very visual and vivid! You found the perfect photo to include also.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kat Morrisey

    I love jaguars; they are so majestic looking and just, gorgeous! Your poem was fantastic as well. I’m enjoying your posts in the challenge, and can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your A to Z theme! Your poetry and images are spectacular! Jaguars are amazing creatures, there is no doubt about that. Keep up the beautiful posts! Happy A to Z! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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