So, highlight of my day? I got sprayed with jaguar juice. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write…

We were at “Las Pumas” wild cat rehab center, looking at a very beautiful male adolescent jaguar who was restlessly padding back and forth in a tiny cage linked to his much larger enclosure. To show sympathy – honestly I don’t know WHAT I was doing – I crouched down to get a better look at the feline. That’s when the bastard turned around and squirted me with a generous helping of his marking juice. (What is the real name for that? Personal scent? Identifying fluid?) Whatever it is called, it’s pretty gross getting it all over yourself. At least it didn’t smell musky; it just smelled like grass. (Yes of course I smelt it!)

The perpetrator – looking like he wouldn’t harm a fly.

Once Conor managed to pick himself up off the floor and get his laughter under control, we went for breakfast and on to the Rio Celeste waterfalls in the Tenorio national park. We saw some amazingly large spiders hanging out in their nets just outside the park office but those were pretty much the only wildlife we saw on our three hour walk to and from the waterfalls, if you discount the myriad ant colonies that crossed our paths. I was a bit worried for a while that my morning scent bath would attract some unwanted attention. Who knows what I was advertising: single male jaguar seeks female for long walks on the beach and cozy nights by the fire? But maybe I was in fact the reason why we didn’t see any animals that day. They all smelt a very large jaguar on two legs coming through. I would have taken off too.


Leave a Reply