This close up photo of a sleeping jaguar was taken at the Las Pumas Rescue Center. A week or so ago I posted a photo of a toucan at the center, as well as information and a link to the website of the center, including information about how it was founded by a Swiss woman who started caring for sick, injured or orphaned animals, and the center carries on her work even though she passed away a few years ago.
Although she cared for as many as 160 animals at a time, the center is best known for caring for wild cats, such as this jaguar. He looks quite comfortable and content, taking his cat nap. When animals are received at the center, they are evaluated by a biologist to assess whether they can be rehabilitated and reintroduced to the wild. Last year, the center took in 84 animals and was successful in reintroducing 67 of them back into the wild.
While at the center either temporarily or for a long time, the center simulates conditions in the wild as they care for the animals. They vary and hide the food and feed the animals at different times to maintain hunting skills and instincts.
Jaguars are native and still wild in Costa Rica, although they are endangered. I have never seen one in the wild, and tourists do not need to worry that they will confront a jaguar in tourist areas. (I mention this because my tracking of Google searches shows that some people land on my site because they are worried about wild animals they might encounter if they come to Costa Rica.)
Jaguars are 1.1 to 1.8 meters in length (3.5 to 6 feet), plus the tail. My Costa Rica wildlife book has a very simple description of the physical appearance of a jaguar. It says: "You will know it when you see it."
I will post some more photos from the Las Pumas Rescue Center on various days in the weeks ahead, including a photo of very cute young margay.