The Jaguar Reserve houses jaguars that have no means of living in the wild. They've been raised as pets, abused, declawed, are blind, etc. They're stories are very sad, but they are lucky to be where they're at, safe and seemingly well-cared for.
This black jaguar was really aggressive. You could tell she was pissed by the way her ears were flattened back. Just as we were about to leave the area, she took one giant leap and jumped at the fence, and added a nice, healthy cat-scream for good measure. All the kids in front of her needed a change of underwear after that. How I laughed, because I am mean.
The pumas were very, very interested in the toddlers of our group. It was almost feeding time.
After we admired all the cats, the guide took us on a hike, and we ended up here:
Did I have towels or swimsuits for my kids? Hell, no. Did that stop Olivia from diving right in? Hell, no.
Grace was all, "Brrrrrrrrrr. It's too cold. I don't think I want to get in any furthur."
And then, she was all,
Jack and his teenaged friends only got their feet wet, but Henry and his friend were all in:
The hike back was steep, but the scenery was gorgeous. We passed a very large chicken yard with hundreds of chickens squawking about. We were tired and hungry, but the jaguar place provided a big lunch for us, AND caipirinhas when we got back. After our lunch, it was time for the cats' lunch:
Yum. A wheelbarrow full of dripping meat. The cats had the same thing we had for lunch. Chicken! I kept remembering the chicken farm we passed earlier in the day for some reason. They wrangled the cats into their cages, then rubbed the meat all over the trees in rocks in their enclosures, finally hiding the meat up high, so the cats would have to hunt for it. It was amazing to watch.
After another hour of watching them feed all the cats, we had coffee and fruit, and the adults got to go play with a jaguar. I'm not kidding. Kids weren't allowed anywhere near it, because they are viewed as food. I stayed with all the kids, and Mitch and Jack went and played with this little kitty:
See my firstborn, petting a Jaguar teenager? I'm pretty sure something like this wouldn't be allowed in the States. Brazil, you win at not worrying about lawsuits!
It was getting late, so we said goodbye to the cats, the parrots, and the toucan.
And followed this roadrunner home. Actually, I'm not a 100 percent sure it was a roadrunner, because it wasn't in cartoon, but it WAS running on the road:
|See the little fella, just right of center?|
All in all, it was a great day, and no one even complained about riding home in damp, muddy clothes.