Getting close and personal with a jaguarundi, Puma yagouaroundi in Guatemala, to research for a female Mayan comic book character
The puma yagouaroundi’s Pictures were taken on the Zoologico Nacional La Aurora. There is where we tend to study this beautiful creature.
The jaguarundi also wanted to play a bit
After the jaguarundi walked down the tree limbs and logs to reach the ground, it came over to me and started to play with the end of my scarf. When I pulled the scarf away, the jaguarundi reached for the end of my shirt-like jacket. I was a tad nervous that it would grab other (more tender) parts of my body, so I decided that we both had enough interaction for our first meeting. So I gradually stood up and moved slowly away. The jaguarundi went back to resting on his perch.
I hope someday to interact with another puma. And I would like to find a margay and ocelot which are keen on interacting with me. The ocelot allowed me to do close-up photography (less than 30 centimeters away). The ocelot’s only reaction to my presence was to keep closing its eyes and getting ready to go to sleep. In other words, this spotted feline had totally accepted my presence in its territory, enough that it felt safe and secure falling asleep directly in front of me.
They like to have fun! The Jaguarundi also like to play and be pet.
Female Mayan comic book characters
Since women boxers are popular peaking last year (2015), it’s a potential time to offer female comic book characters with muscles. And this cat definitely has muscles. When I tried to give this jaguarundi cat the same kind of rub that I give to a kitty cat, dog, or even peccary or tapir, I noticed lots of muscles on the jaguarundi shoulders. Yet the face is perfectly normal for a kitty cat (even though this is a “shrunken but stretched “puma,” remember, its biological name is Puma yagouaroundi).
But we will also have normal Mayan females as comic book characters: not boxers, and not catty either. Since Maya is a common girls name in Eastern Europe and other countries, and since our entire ambience is the world of the Maya, it is appropriate to name our female hero Maya (the girl, not the wild jaguarundi cat comic character).
|Our project is to document for the world the utilitarian plants and animals of the Mayan world, of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, plus adjacent parts of Honduras and El Salvador.
Instead of copying-and-pasting from plagiarized info from common web sites, we do research both in our own library and in peer-reviewed journals. Plus we then share our sources on our Mayan bibliography web site, www.maya-art-books.org.
Rather than put our knowledge into “peer-reviewed journals” whose publishers gouge the public with greedy downloading fees, we prefer to have the world as our reviewers, so we issue our results in PDFs which are at no cost.
To obtain our knowledge we learn from visiting the birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, insects and other creatures when possible, outside in nature preserves. But during 50 years in Guatemala, I have never seen a jaguarundi (or puma, ocelot or margay) in the wild (though I have seen two jaguars, one near Tikal; one near Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico).
So to study jaguarundis we appreciate the access many decades ago at ZooMAT in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico. But since that zoo is no longer easy to drive to (due to rise in problems at border crossings and then along the highways), we focus on zoos in Guatemala where the zoo directors recognize that we produce information for the general public (in addition for university students). Thus we tend to do our studies of animals especially at Parque Zoológico La Aurora and AutoSafari Chapin.
www.aurorazoo.org.gt, Abierto martes a domingo, de 9:00 a.m. a 4:00 p.m.
We thank the team at Parque Zoológico La Aurora for providing hospitality during the many years that we have done research photography here.