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Group on night hiking trail have a rare encounter with a young jaguar in Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve

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Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2022. 5:50 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: A tour guide and his group on a hiking trail in the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve had a rare encounter on Friday night, meeting up with a young male jaguar on their way back.

Axel Jimenez, a tour guide with Hamanasi Resort, Hopkins Village Stann Creek, told Breaking Belize News that he and the two hikers with him were doing a night hike on the Wari Loop Trail.

Jimenez said that they drove an hour from Hopkins to the reserve, hiked for 2 hours, and at the end of the hike they saw the jaguar only a few yards from them.

“When he noticed us he got curious and started to come closer to us on 2 occasions. Got to about 6ft away from us,” Jimenez said. “I’ve been a guide for almost 10 years and this is the closest encounter ever.”

Jimenez added that usually they run away or we are in the car and never get too close, and would only attack if they feel threatened. He noted that the jaguar appeared to be exploring new territory as he was alone. Jimenez explained that, at that age, jaguars are usually separated from their mothers and making it on their own.

 

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