Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
once come across a horse which a jaguar had thus killed and dragged for over a mile. Jaguars also stalk and kill the deer; in this neighborhood they seemed to be less habitual deer-hunters than the cougars; whether this is generally the case I cannot say. They have been known to pounce on and devour good-sized anacondas.
In this particular neighborhood the ordinary jaguars molested the cattle and horses hardly at all except now and then to kill calves. It was only occasionally that under special circumstances some old male took to cattle-killing. There were plenty of capybaras and deer, and evidently the big spotted cats preferred the easier prey when it was available; exactly as in East Africa we found the lions living almost exclusively on zebra and antelope, and not molesting the buffalo and domestic cattle, which in other parts of Africa furnish their habitual prey. In some other neighborhoods, not far distant, our hosts informed us that the jaguars lived almost exclusively on horses and cattle. They also told us that the cougars had the same habits as the jaguars except that they did not prey on such big animals. The cougars on this ranch never molested the foals, a fact which astonished me, as in the Rockies they are the worst enemies of foals. It was interesting to find that my hosts, and the mixed-blood hunters and ranch workers, combined special knowledge of many of the habits of these big cats with a curious ignorance of other matters concerning them and a readiness to believe fables about them. This was precisely what I had found to be the case with the old-time North American hunters in discussing the puma, bear, and wolf, and with the English and Boer hunters