How hungry do you have to be before fighting a caiman sounds like a good idea? In the Pantanal, Brazil’s eastern wetlands, the answer seems to be “about average.”
The proof is captured in an astounding set of photos taken by Justin Black, a nature photographer and the founder of Visionary Wild, a wildlife photography school.
The photos show a stealthy jaguar slowly emerge from undergrowth behind a Yacare caimanthat’s busy sunning itself on the opposite side of a stretch of river. Undeterred by the water, the jaguar slips into the river, sneaks up behind the caiman, and attacks.
“He lifted the 150lb caiman from the ground and trotted toward the water like it was a doggie bone,” Black told the Daily Mail. “The fact he attacked from the water is astonishing … It was reminiscent of crocs attacking land animals in Africa.”
Panthera, a wild cat conservation group, reports Brazil’s Pantanal is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. National Geographic lists the animal as “near threatened,” noting the creature is often targeted by hunters, as well as ranchers who see the cats as a threat to livestock.