|Courtesy of Internet|
We saw the COOLEST thing!
We hadn't gone far - in fact, there were still barb-wired private properties to either side (a spacious, open, grazing field on the left side, and on the right side there were more jungle-like thickets).
The road was still wide, and hadn't narrowed yet into a trail - when Daisy suddenly stopped, looking at something underneath the luxuriant shady tree to our left, apparently spotting a small animal.
In less than a split second, we saw an "el tigrillo" (little tiger- an ocelot, we think) come out from the foliage, (from our right) slink quickly across the road in front of us to retrieve it, and then she raced back, once she had the cub in her mouth (which is when I got the pic).
I barely had time to snap this picture.
Which is very blurry. See below.
|The tigrillo is leaping through the barb wire fence, with cub in her
above Daisy's back, just above the tree shadow,
and next to fence pole in the center of the picture.
First of all, this happened before we even got into the jungle, and because they are normally nocturnal creatures.
“The scientific name is “Leopardus pardalis”. The tail of the tigrillo (little tiger as it’s called in Ecuador) is longer than its rear leg, which makes for easy identification. Although occasionally active during the daytime, ocelots are predominantly nocturnal. During the daytime they often sleep in trees. Prime viewing: Lowland and mid-elevation forests throughout Ecuador, although most common the Amazon basin”.
We spotted this well camouflaged, bushy-tailed squirrel (notice the white ring around the end of tail if you can spot the squirrel in the photo below):
|This bushy-tailed squirrel is|
clinging to left side of tree,
if you can spot him.
We hadn’t prepared well for this hike, because we planned for just a short walk. We were wearing only the briefest of clothes, and flip-flops.
We were not exactly dressed right to go much further into the jungle.
We had no water with us, or even our “Leatherman”… Dumb.
We wanted to go in further – we wanted to see more.
|A picture that Todd took a couple of|
years ago...you get the idea.
It was a distinct growl. Todd was a little ahead of me on the single file path. We both froze, had enough time to both say & agree “that was a growl”, when it happened again.
We froze once more. And then SLOWLY CREPT AWAY as soon as soon we thought prudent.
|Our Dog Daisy|
Heading home after our adventure.