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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.

Page 33

Brazil. They had a quantity of dried beef in camp. On several occasions a jaguar came into camp after this dried beef. Finally they succeeded in protecting it so that he could not reach it. The result, however, was disastrous. On the next occasion that he visited camp, at midnight, he seized a man. Everybody was asleep at the time, and the jaguar came in so noiselessly as to elude the vigilance of the dogs. As he seized the man, the latter gave one yell, but the next moment was killed, the jaguar driving his fangs through the man’s skull into the brain. There was a scene of uproar and confusion, and the jaguar was forced to drop his prey and flee into the woods. Next morning they followed him with the dogs, and finally killed him. He was a large male, in first-class condition. The only features of note about these two incidents was that in each case the man-eater was a powerful animal in the prime of life; whereas it frequently happens that the jaguars that turn man-eaters are old animals, and have become too inactive or too feeble to catch their ordinary prey.
  During the two months before starting from Asuncion, in Paraguay, for our journey into the interior, I was kept so busy that I had scant time to think of natural history. But in a strange land a man who cares for wild birds and wild beasts always sees and hears something that is new to him and interests him. In the dense tropical woods near Rio Janeiro I heard in late October—springtime, near the southern tropic—the songs of many birds that I could not identify. But the most beautiful music was from a shy woodland thrush,