May 12, 2024
Today´s Paper

Two Friends, One Jaguar, and a Perfect Shot

TULUM, Mexico — After seven long years dedicated to nature photography, Daniel Núñez and Andrés Novales finally captured the image they had dreamt of a majestic jaguar in the wild. Their journey, marked by perseverance and a series of fortunate events, unfolded in the lush expanse of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Petén, a testament to the relentless spirit of nature photographers.

Daniel Núñez and Andrés Novales, seasoned in capturing nature’s fleeting moments, had long sought the elusive jaguar. Their adventure reached a pivotal moment when Novales invited Núñez to the Chosquitan Management Unit of the Sociedad Civil Laborantes del Bosque. This area, known for its rich biodiversity, allowed them to delve deep into the Mayan jungle.

Two Friends, One Jaguar, and a Perfect Shot

Previously, Novales had spent ten days at the Chosquitan concession without a glimpse of the elusive feline. However, this time, their expedition lasted eight grueling days marked by intense heat, countless ticks, and lengthy treks. They spent hours on the rugged paths, hopeful for a chance encounter. “On the last day, we were somewhat defeated,” Núñez shared. Their spirits were low, and they planned to leave, but fate intervened in the form of a flat tire, delaying their departure and setting the stage for a night that would etch itself in their memories.

Two Friends, One Jaguar, and a Perfect Shot

That night, between 2 and 3 AM, they heard the unmistakable roar of a female jaguar calling to a mate while at their camp. Motivated by this call, they ventured out and briefly saw the jaguar before it vanished. Not deterred, they continued their search and heard the jaguar again at about 5 AM. This time, their persistence paid off. They found the small female jaguar lying on the road, “putting on a show,” as Núñez described. The photographers managed to capture the stunning images they had longed for. “The excitement overwhelmed me; I began to shake as I took the photos. It was incredible,” recounted Novales.

Two Friends, One Jaguar, and a Perfect Shot

This successful encounter highlights the critical role of forest concessions in conserving the Maya Biosphere Reserve. These areas provide a wildlife sanctuary and ensure sustainable benefits to the environment and local communities. “Everything aligned,” said Novales, reflecting on the experience. Both photographers felt immense gratitude for witnessing such a rare sight and fulfilling a long-held dream.

Two Friends, One Jaguar, and a Perfect Shot

As Núñez aptly noted, “This underscores the importance of forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere. I hope they continue for many more years.” Their story is a powerful reminder of the beauty and challenges of wildlife photography and the profound impact of dedicated conservation efforts.

Newsletter
Newsletter

Get Tulum's Latest News Direct to Your Inbox


Related Articles