Dark Beaches, Big Cats

Alonso Sánchez ACR Wildlife Photography

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish and his team at Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation bring us stories from around the world about adventuring with purpose. Here, ASC naturalist guide Nikki Mann reflects on jaguars, sea turtles and their interactions during her recent scouting trip to Costa Rica.

By Nikki Mann

We spent hours and hours walking a tropical beach in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica…

In the dark…

Without headlamps.

As the surf pounded the beach to my left, invisible and insistent, I tried to decide if I looked weak—or, really, if I looked like the weakest of our group.

This is a worry I often have while doing physically demanding work in remote locations, but in Costa Rica, it was not the opinion of the four other guys I was concerned about.

It was the opinion of the jaguars.

This image, captured by photographer Alonso Sánchez of ACR Wildlife Photography on a beach less than a mile away, is what we were hoping to see—a jaguar eating a sea turtle. Although jaguar tracks appeared on the beach almost nightly, the cats remained invisible shadows. (Photo by Nikki Mann)

The huge cats were on the beach with us. We’d just found tracks—called huellas in —> Read More Here


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