1 x 60'
A narrow ribbon of gallery forest lines the banks where the Cuiabá, the Corixo Negro and the Three Brothers rivers meet. Herds of capybara wade in the shallows while caiman stealthily glide by. Hiding in the bushes, silently watching it all, are the jaguars.
This film follows the lives of a handful of these iconic big cats that live in an area of the Pantanal known as Jaguarland. Not only can more jaguars be seen here than anywhere in the world, they are also the largest. These remarkable predators are up to twice the average weight of jaguars elsewhere. Elusive as these they can be, the cats emerge when it’s time to hunt. Caiman and capybara are their favourite food, which means they’ll have to get wet, but with beaches of golden sand lining every bend in the river, there are plenty of places to lie in the sun and dry off. This is where the jaguars relax, hunt and find potential mates.
With the help of world-renowned big cat research specialists, Panthera, we gain unique insight into the individual lives of Jaguarland’s most famous residents. Ginger is a young female who is fast developing her hunting prowess; learning to be patient and even ambushing from trees. We also meet the alpha male on the block, Juru. As he patrols his kingdom, making sure that no younger rivals are planning to take his place, Juru comes face-to-face with an older, gnarlier version of himself. This fallen king, blind in one eye, knows only too well what the consequences will be of challenging the powerful Juru.
We’ll also meet the adolescent brothers Kim and Thor. Goofy and kittenish, they are finding their way in this world. Usually solitary animals, the siblings have opted for a life together… for now.
Other charismatic characters include giant otters, capybara and an abundance of caiman. We’ll learn about the dynamics of the humans that share this transient landscape, including the ‘Pantaneiros’ – quintessential Pantanal residents, they have been herding cattle here for centuries. Historically, they regarded jaguars as nothing more than a threat to their livelihoods. Killing Jaguars on sight to reduce the number of livestock lost to this apex predator was the standard response. But attitudes are changing; ingenious ways are being found to protect the herds. Unexpectedly, tourism could also be the answer to keeping the wetland paradise intact and the jaguars safe for generations to come.
Plimsoll Productions/Smithsonian Networks