Jaguar, Panthera onca, El Jaguar (Spanish), Balam (Mayan), Onça (Brazilian Portuguese).
Living in the Yucatan jaguars seemed ever present whether visiting Maya ruins or the protected preserves of Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatan’s private El Zapotal Reserve, the private Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve and Calakmul Biosphere Reserve , and in architecture, literature, art and sculpture. To the Maya, the jaguar led the transition between the living world and underworld, a symbol of power, energy, fertility, a great hunter, and warrior. Friends even discussed their excitement of a jaguar crossing a road in Calakmul. I never saw one but was pleased protected areas exist.
However, did any of us ever “paw-nder” the daily life of a jaguar, this powerful, solitary, nocturnal creature of shadows and stealth?