Chasing the Elusive Hunter

Chasing the Elusive Hunter

Posted by Sam Hopkins on 28th Mar 2014

It's always great to hear how volunteers are getting on at a project, and this week we have been fortunate enough to hear from volunteer Liz out at the 'Amazon Conservation Project' in Manu Biosphere Reserve, Peru.

Read her exciting extract below, where she chronicles seeing the Amazon's most iconic predator – the jaguar!

"Our eyes moved up, down, sideways and forwards as consistently as our legs moved forward. I stopped to listen or smell the air on occasion and I was often fooled by the wind that moved the trees high up within the canopy. Were we really going to go another full day in the jungle without seeing anything? All odds seemed to be against us, despite our best efforts. The only thing that gave us hope were a couple of fresh paw prints along the trail.

Then, as if the universe felt our desperation, a subtle movement to our left averted our attention. It was bigger than I could have ever imagined, and its spots were uncanny - even through the dense foliage. In an instant my heart rate increased exponentially and the grip on my machete tightened as I sidestepped silently to get a better view of the mightiest hunter in the whole of the Americas. It must have been an adult male - for it was huge!

It all happened so fast, too, that I swear if fellow volunteer Noreen wasn't there to vouch for me that I probably would have thought I had imagined the whole thing. It ran down the slope of dense undergrowth and was gone in the blink of an eye. With a massive sense of adventure, all I wanted to do was follow it - so that's what we did! Unfortunately, we had barely gotten 15 meters before having to turn back, for we both left our compasses in our bags on the trail and the vegetation was simply too thick that by the time I would have whacked my way through, it every animal within a 1 mile radius would have been long gone. None of that mattered though - because we had gotten a very rare glimpse of a wild JAGUAR!"

What an unforgettable experience that must have been – something which very few people ever get to see!

For your chance to see this most magnificent of cats, why not join the 'Amazon Conservation Project' in Peru? Located in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a world renowned UNESCO heritage site, this fantastic project offers volunteers the chance to work deep within the lush Amazon rainforest, monitoring and registering forest biodiversity, building infrastructure for local family bio-gardens with community members, and conducting night-time surveys to collect valuable information on amphibians, insects and reptiles.

What's more, you will have the chance to spot some of the Amazon's most famous inhabitants, including caimans, spider monkeys, macaws, a wide array of reptiles, insects and amphibians, and even that most elusive of predators: the jaguar whilst volunteering in the Amazon Rainforest.For more information, please visit our project page here.

If you would like to share your stories from your time at one of the projects we offer, we would love to hear from you! Please don't hesitate to get in contact with our Marketing Executive Sam via [email protected]

 


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