By Martin Ruffell
The BRUTAL moment a male adult jaguar clutches an eighty-pound struggling caiman crocodile in its jaws has been captured on camera.
The footage showed the 200 pound big cat, known as Mick, using its strong bite to drag the reptile away from the edge of the river bank.
The crafty caiman made one last bid for freedom and successfully managed to wrestle itself from the jaguar’s jaws, scuttling away towards the safety of the water.
However, Mick the jaguar soon leapt upon the caiman’s back and sunk his three-inch-long fangs deep into the reptile’s skull, crushing it in the process and securing his dinner.
The amazing footage was captured by Abigail Martin (30) from Afton, New York, USA, who founded the Jaguar Identification Project – a non-profit organisation whose aim is to construct a database of individual jaguars in order to better understand their behaviours.
Abigail captured the intense altercation from just 20 metres away in the northern Pantanal region of Brazil which is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. The struggle lasted just under a minute before the big cat captured his prey.
“The jaguar in the video is known as Mick Jaguar,” Abigail said.
“He is a super famous jaguar known for killing massive caiman in front of as many tourists as possible.
“He’s actually not the best hunter but if you stay with him he will eventually get something.
“Failing attempt after attempt, he finally got the angle he needed and used a patch of floating water hyacinth to hind behind when he made the initial targeted attack.
“After pulling this caiman out of the water he relaxed his jaws, possibly trying to get a better grip, thinking he had already killed the caiman.
“The caiman made its last attempt in trying to escape but Mick did let him slip away and this time made a lethal bite and dragged him into the bushes.
“Every time you see one of these majestic creatures in the wild, it’s almost like everything in life that doesn’t matter just disappears and all your senses come alive.
“I love to just watch them without distraction so I can take in the unique and wonderful experience.”
Unfortunately, recent fires in the Pantanal jaguar corridor have meant that 600 of the estimated 2,000 jaguars living in the region have been injured or killed.