OP – The Blog

August 2nd, 2010

Chasing Jaguars

Posted By Kevin Schafer

Wild Jaguar resting, Pantanal, Brazil

Five years ago, I took a gamble and traveled to Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands to try and photograph wild jaguars. I had only seen a jaguar once before, in Peru – over a decade before – but  had not managed to get a picture. Suffice it to say, therefore, that in the intervening years seeing jaguars again had become a bit of an obsession with me. So when I started hearing rumors of jaguar sightings on a regular basis, I bought a ticket for Brazil. Once on location, I chartered a small boat, hired a local guide, and spent nine days in the sweltering heat following two small jungle rivers in search of these secretive cats. By the end of that time, I had seen nine different jaguars, including an astonishing five in one day. Even so I got only a handful of photos – including the one above – at the time, one of very few shots of wild jaguars ever taken.

Now, of course, the location is much-better known,  and photographers like Tom Mangelsen and Steve Winter have recently spent as long as a month there. Some amazing pictures have emerged already, and I’m sure there are more on the way, assisted by a new, full-time tourism operation on site run by legendary tropical biologist Charlie Munn.

I will probably not be back anytime soon, tempting as it is, preferring to go after other, less-well-known subjects. But for anyone with a love of big cats, rarely seen or photographed anywhere else on Earth – this is an amazing experience that I can’t recommend enough.  For more information, have a look at : http://www.jaguarresearchcenter.com/

 

Please leave a comment

  1. Pablo Says:

    Hi!

    Amazing shot! I would love to go on a trip like this to photograph camera shy animals. Do you have any advise regarding what type of lenses to bring on a trip such as this?

  2. Kevin Schafer Says:

    Pablo,

    I think I used a 300mm lens for this shot. It is quite common to get CLOSE to these guys now, so even a 80-200 could suffice in some cases. But take your longest lens just in case you need it.

    Hope you can get down there. There are still a lot of behavioral pictures waiting to be taken!

    Kevin

Leave a Comment

We welcome constructive comments and discussion. To keep the conversation polite, we will remove comments that we feel are disruptive, including abusive language and personal attacks against a contributor or another commenter. Repeated offenses may result in a permanent restriction from commenting.