Wild and Wonderful

Pumas of Patagonia

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Estancia Laguna Amarga, Patagonia, Chile - June 2018

My second visit to Chilean Patagonia to photograph the Puma proved to be much more successful than the first. Changes in park regulations mean that it is now quite difficult to phtograph Pumas in Torres del Paine National Park, as you cannot leave the designated trails. Consequently we spent all our time in the adjacent Estancia Laguna Amarga, a sheep ranch. The enlightened owner has realised the potential of his Puma population, and now protects them in spite of a few losses to sheep, as he sees more value in the eco-tourism income than in sheep farming.

We had one absolutely superb encounter with a Puma, lasting over two hours, although the Puma actually came rather too close at one point, locking onto me. I have posted a video of this encounter - you can see it by clicking here - if you turn the sound up you will hear my low growl towards the end (13 secs) which fortunately sent the Puma on its way! I would like to thank Argentinian videographer Nicolas Detry (www.nicolasdetry.com) for letting me have this video.

We had one other good Puma encounter together with some stunning opportunties for other wildlife, enhanced by the heavy snow that came part way through our trip.

My thanks to Mark Sisson of Natures Images for organising and guiding this trip together with his excellent team of local trackers and guides.