Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Jaguar skull

I'm not in the business of collecting animal skulls but from time to time friends and colleagues pass them on to me. Maybe they're cleaning out their closets at home; and then too, they know that these artifacts fit in with the theme of flora and fauna at Bosque Santa Lucia. The skull in the attached image is that of a young jaguar. It was given to me by a fellow guide on the Negro River, north of Manaus. I didn't ask too many questions, but my guess is that it was killed for food. I know that happens in this region because I've heard it from the "horse's mouth", the hunters and those who have eaten them. I understand that there are still many jaguars in the primary forest of the Amazon. Unfortunately, they've become very rare around the Santarem region. There was a time when I heard of neighbors at the Bosque commenting on visiting jaguars in suit of their livestock. Now it's been a while since anyone has seen one, as far as I know.

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