Jaguars Swim Panama Canal

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 10th, 2009

Did you know that jaguars are swimming the Panama Canal?

A lone jaguar captured by a camera on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Dated April 20, 2009. (Courtesy of Jackie Willis.)

Jaguars travel amazing distances on their migration routes – trekking from Mexico all the way through most of South America. They cross canals, towns, ranches and plenty of people who are less than happy to see them. Host Jeff Young talks with Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, president of the conservationist group, Panthera, about a novel way to get humans to co-exist with cats.

NPR’s “Living on Earth” is the location for this interesting new (May 8, 2009) interview about jaguars. Listen to it or read the transcript, here.

Rabinowitz, who has a past full of some very cryptozoological points of view, speaks specifically about this Panama Canal swimming behavior of the jaguars:

I headed straight down to the Panama Canal when I got this news. And sure enough, there’s a great section on the Atlantic coast of the Panama Canal which is solid jungle up to the canal and solid jungle on the other side, and it’s not that wide. It’s wide enough frankly for you and I to swim across. It’s not as if every jaguar that comes there swims across, but to maintain genetic continuity all you need is one jaguar every four or five generations to actually make it across, one young dispersing male usually, and get to the next side.

A watchful jaguar in the Pantanal. (Photo: Steve Winter/Panthera)

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

One Response to “Jaguars Swim Panama Canal”

  1. Iguana Sanchez responds:

    Heh…did you know that the classic story of the frog and the scorpion is actually an old Honduran story in which a jaguar (not a frog) swam the scorpion across the river?

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