By Dan Baggot @DAN_BAGGIE
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / director: Senaka Kotagama, Enakshi Marita Kotagama
Producer: Danny Baggott, Ruby Coote
Editor: Helen Mckee
Senaka Kotagama, with the help of his wife, Enakshi, witnessed the ‘once in a lifetime’ moment just off the Three Brothers River in the Brazilian Pantanal, in June 2019.
The jaguar had been stalking its prey for more than one hour before pouncing out of the water and locking its jaw around the caiman’s neck.
After just two brutal minutes tossing and turning and submerging themselves beneath the water, the jaguar came out on top – strangling the defeated caiman on the grassy river bank.
Senaka, 54, told Barcroft TV: “This was such a special moment for me and my wife to witness.
“I definitely don’t think we’ll see anything like this again in person.
“It was a brutal attack. After the jaguar sunk its teeth into the caiman’s neck, and used its claws to drag it from side to side, I don’t think it ever stood a chance of surviving.
“They must have been submerged underwater for around 30 seconds – I thought the jaguar was going to run out of breath.
“But the two bodies suddenly came flying out and the cat was clearly experienced and clinical with the kill.”
The jaguar, known for its stalk-and-ambush method of hunting, is usually a solitary predator at the top of the food chain in this part of the world.
And Senaka was positioned just 18 to 20 metres away from where the kill occurred.
“We locked eyes with the jaguar and it was a chilling moment,” he said.
“At one point before, the jaguar was at the tip of our boat.”
Senaka remains overjoyed with his footage and is hoping that it can do some good for the natural world.
He added: “Whatever I may see in my future endeavours, my hope is that this creates greater awareness for the love of the mesmerising natural world we still have left.
“I hope this can help inculcate in people across the oceans the critical need for the preservation of our unique and fragile planet.
“This will be a spectacle I will cherish forever!”