Love this picture from @stevewinterphoto @natgeo
Black cats have fascinated me for the better part of 20 years,
I photographed this orphaned black jaguar on my travels throughout Peru for @natgeo and my worldwide jaguar story (out in @natgeo magazine December 2017). This jaguar is one of eight rescued cats given a home at the San Juan (a famous Peruvian brewery) headquartered in Pucallpa! She was rescued from the pet trade and is now spending her days here and can never be released into the wild. Which is sad for the species. If you kill a mother and she has cubs, you take mom and cubs out of the ecosystem.
Melanism (the black you see in this jaguar) is thought to help big cats blend into thick forests and jungles, an important trait for hunting success! Scientists also believe melanism in cats could be an ancient genetic response towards disease. Black jaguars exist in the wild in pockets across the America's, including Brazil and Peru but I am yet to photograph one in the wild! This is my holy grail!
Follow me @stevewinterphoto to see more images from my travels. Thanks
@natgeo @natgeocreative @natgeowild #jaguar #bigcat #bigcatsforlife #lookingforjaguars #peru #pucallpa #jaguars #bigcatsinitiative