This is a young Tigré, or jungle version of a tiger that only grows to be the size of a large dog. This one is about one year old and is stalking some nearby movement while I remain motionless with my equipment rigged in a small tree. I had a most entertaining encounter with its father the night before.... I was sleeping in a native hut which consists of an elevated wooden platform with some poles to support a roof made of dried leaves. Needless to say, there's not much to keep out wildlife with the ability to climb. I woke to a very intimidating low growl from the throat of a mature Tigré. Hoping that if I remained still, it would simply pass without interest - I was wrong. After leaping onto the hut floor and examining this new terrain, it wasn't long before it was on top of me and being a nuisance. Realizing that sleep was going to be impossible with this guy prowling around, I decided to get up and deal with the situation. It had hopped off me and was making itself comfortable in the middle of the floor. Remembering a little bit of house cat knowledge, I wondered if that trick of picking them up by the back of their necks worked on the larger species. So I carefully made my way closer and slowly reached down, got a fist full of fur, and began lifting him from the floor. All was going well; his front legs appeared limp and he appeared relaxed - well, at least until I got his hind legs off the ground. Suddenly, before I could blink, he had reached back with one of his large paws, grabbed my arm that I was lifting with, and twisted around forcing his release. His strength and speed were very impressive and I quickly let go. Standing there next to me, I'm sure it was wondering what I was going to do next - I was also. The reason I was in the jungle was to shoot a variety of Peruvian blankets using the natural surroundings. I grabbed one of the thick mat-like blankets and threw it over the Tigré. Then quickly started to roll him up into a harmless ball. No sooner did I complete this task, his strength again impressed me as he was quickly wiggling his way out of my trap. I managed to get the bundle to the edge of the platform and unrolled him back off into the jungle so we both could get some rest.
Tigré of the Jungle