Yes, Part Two of Day Four is missing–it will show up later. After floating down Rio Tenorio (the missing photos) and eating lunch by another river just off the Pan American Highway, we went a short distance off the Pan American highway to Las Pumas, a wildlife rescue center. This photo was taken on the way–a very common sight in this area, grazing cattle.
The center rescues various animals but mostly wild cats, including puma, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi–a long bodied, grey cat with short legs and a tiny head, margay, and tigrillo which is the size of a house cat. Their goal is to eventually release the animals back into the wild. However, the only place open to visitors is an area where none of the animals can be released back into the wild.
I mostly photographed the pumas–one of my obsessions.
See if you can find the puma.
Now you can. He kept moving.
Most of their stories went like this: mom was killed or caught by a rancher for stealing livestock; baby was found and rescued and had become too familiar with people to release. Another common story dealt with injuries where the animal had been caught in a trap and suffered too much of an injury to ever be self sufficient in the wild. The smaller cats knew how to either hide themselves or hunker down where it was too dark for a good photo. In the largest enclosure a jaguar lay right next to the fence. Once he had been returned to the wild without success. He did not seem particularly pleased with all us humans so close. He arose, suddenly turned his butt toward the fence, and sprayed. One unfortunate (or fortunate if she wanted a good story) girl was the recipient. She took it well. How often does one get sprayed by a jaguar!
Eventually, after twisting and turning on various unpaved roads through the dry tropical forest (a totally different type of forest than one usually thinks of when hearing the word tropical), we arrived at Rio Perdido early enough for some relaxation, a bit of exploring, and swimming.
This is the third in a series of poems entitled Pumas. If you have not yet read the first two, I suggest you scroll down and read those first.
to walk with you
in my dreams
scream your screams
feel your blood
your heart beat
soft golden fur
wound in my hair
your amber eyes
through my brown