Jaguarundi with its cub
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Saturday July 22, 2017

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Jaguarundi with its cub

It is always good to take your camera around, if you have one, you never know what you encounter. I was coming out of Indian Creek (Orange Walk District), decided to park on the side of the road when suddenly this jaguarundi came out of the bushes, first I thought it was a dog or something else, but looking closely I saw it was something different, I took out my camera and took a shot and then suddenly a tiny one came out of the bushes, mein what a moment...

The jaguarundi is the second smallest wild cat in Belize, also known as the “halari”. This cat resemblance the weasel family because of its small flattened head and rounded ears.

The jaguarundi can grow to be 2-4 feet long and 10-24 inches tall, weight 12-18 pounds and live up to 15-22 years. It also varies in color from a black to dark gray morph to yellowish-red morph depending on its habitat. Its habitat ranges from dense forests, riparian areas to drier scrub areas, making it vulnerable to deforestation and habitat loss.

This solitary animal has as many as 13 separate vocalizations including whistles, purrs, yaps, bird-like chirps or even a scream, so don’t be afraid if you hear strange noise in the forest.

The jaguarundi hunts both at night and day. Although the jaguarundi hunts mostly on the ground, it is also a good climber and swimmer.

Photographs by Terencio Cal

How much do you know about the jaguarundi?

These small cats are native to parts of North, Central and South America. They are not just commonly found in the forests of Belize, but there’s also a growing exhibit in captivity at the Belize Zoo. News 5 visited The Belize Zoo to find out why many zoos around the world want two of the youngest jaguarundis born at the Belize Zoo.

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