We hear nature watchers talking about their “great sightings” all the time. For newbies, it might be little more than their first Common Loon or a bobcat. For more experienced wildlife watchers it might take an eagle or a bear to get them excited.
Still others are always on the lookout for something as rare as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. Those “sightings” they may consider a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) President and CEO, Carter Roberts, has dedicated his life to watching all sorts of animals around the world. When he says he saw something that amazed him, you know it had to be something truly out of the ordinary!
Roberts and a crew of people who worked for the WWF were sailing along the Amazon River when they spotted something in the water. It looked bigger than anything they would expect to see in that part of the river. and the footage they captured was truly breathtaking. Can you guess what it was?
So, out came the video cameras (thank goodness) and they began to capture some footage. While the film was rolling, everyone was trying to guess what it was in the water.
The creature got closer as they ventured guess after guess of local animals pondering what it might be. They were all wrong. You’ll never guess…
They couldn’t either. As they got nearer to the quickly swimming creature, they could tell that it was black. Could someone’s Labrador Retriever have gotten away from them?
But, even so, what would it be doing swimming in the Amazon River? And this creature seemed to be almost gliding through the water, definitely not a “dog paddle.”
More than one crew member nervously mentioned the Loch Ness Monster. Even those that disagreed had to admit, it was something none of them had ever seen before.
Can you tell yet? They couldn’t either. Neither can we.
But, soon the creature got close enough to be captured with someone’s zoom lens.
Cat eyes? Could it possibly be something feline? If so, what the heck?
They were all still baffled.
Then the saw a side view of the head and a collective gasp went up around the boat. Surely not!
But, yes. It was. A black panther.
An extraordinary sighting for even a jaded animal watcher like Roberts. Everyone on the ship was so excited the boat practically vibrated.
The big cat swam on by, towards land.
These powerful felines are rare to see on dry land. It would be difficult to calculate the odds of actually sighting one swimming in deep water. It’s just not something they do.
But, this one was. Why he was there would be impossible to say. But, the crew that got to watch him swim by are forever grateful that he was.
And even more grateful that they were there to capture it on film. Otherwise, they were sure, no one would have ever believed them.
Black jaguars make up about 6% of the jaguar population around the world. The jaguar population in general is nearing “threatened” status according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
What an unbelievable moment for all the people on the ship. No matter what they saw on the rest of the journey, we are fairly certain it couldn’t possibly have topped this sighting.
Source: Honest To Paws