The jaguar is known as the largest wild cat that live in the Americas. A little bit larger than it cousin – the leopard, these predators frequently live in the dense tropical forest. Therefore its presence range from Southwestern United States and Mexico in North America, across a large part of Central America, Paraguay and Argentina in South America.
Due to a dominant melanistic gene, around 6% of the jaguar population are black. Their skin produce black pigmentation, resulting into a stunning dark coat. Over 500 jaguar that suffer from melanism live in the wild and many of them have their habitats in the Amazonian forest. Therefore, you can imagine just how rare it is to catch sight of such an elusive creature.
However, while conducting a conservation study throughout the 150 million acres of the Amazon Region Protected Areas, a team at the World Wildlife Fund spotted something even rarer – a black leopard swimming through the Amazon River. These solitary felines are known as very skilled and powerful swimmers thanks to their muscular limbs.
“This morning, after an epic rain storm we headed out and a member of our team said ‘Oh my God it’s a cayman [swimming] ‘”Carter Roberts, President and CEO of WWF-US said. “As we got closer I said ‘Oh God it’s a cat,’ but our guide then said ‘guys it’s actually a black jaguar.’”
Watch the extremely rare scene, here: