Charismatic cat or problematic pest?

Okay, I’m sure you all know my opinion on this subject. Jaguars, as we know, are majestic animals that serve as the national animal in many of the countries it inhabits. Historically, it has called for respect and reverence. In fact, the best Mayan warriors would don jaguar pelts and considered to possess the spirit of the cat. This was a high honor in recognition of deities associated with jaguars

However, modern society is quite different from the ancient Mayans. True, jaguars are still held in high regard, but clashes between jaguars and ranchers has also dubbed the large cat as a serious pest. As a result of humans living in close proximity to jaguar habitats, there has been quite a bit of human-wildlife conflict.

Just like with tigers and lions, jaguars are not going to pass up the chance at an easy meal. Needless to say, they have been known to go after ranchers’ cattle and other livestock. Fearful that their livelihood is at stake, some ranchers are driven to retaliate against the jaguars. Sadly, recent research has shown that jaguars are usually not the culprit of livestock predation. Cougars are. But we’ll talk about the more another day.

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