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

Page 84

tree. The furious baying of the pack, the shouts and cheers of encouragement from the galloping horsemen, the wilderness surroundings, the knowledge of what the quarry is—all combine to make the moment one of fierce and thrilling excitement. Besides, in this case there was the possibility the jaguar might come to bay on the ground, in which event there would be a slight element of risk, as it might need straight shooting to stop a charge. However, about as soon as the long-drawn howling and eager yelping showed that the jaguar had been overtaken, we saw him, a huge male, up in the branches of a great fig-tree. A bullet behind the shoulder, from Kermit’s 405 Winchester, brought him dead to the ground. He was heavier than the very big male horse-killing cougar I shot in Colorado, whose skull Hart Merriam reported as the biggest he had ever seen; he was very nearly double the weight of any of the male African leopards we shot; he was nearly or quite the weight of the smallest of the adult African lionesses we shot while in Africa. He had the big bones, the stout frame, and the heavy muscular build of a small lion; he was not lithe and slender and long like a cougar or leopard; the tail, as with all jaguars, was short, while the girth of the body was great; his coat was beautiful, with a satiny gloss, and the dark-brown spots on the gold of his back, head, and sides were hardly as conspicuous as the black of the equally well-marked spots against his white belly.
  This was a well-known jaguar. He had occasionally indulged in cattle-killing; on one occasion during the floods he had taken up his abode near the ranch-house