Across the Amazon River, through the rainforests of Brazil, sits the Pantanal, one of the largest wetlands in the world. This expanse of grassland and bayou is located in inland Brazil – along the Bolivian and Paraguayan borders and far from big skyscrapers and paved roads – and large ranches dot the vast landscape.
One particular ranch provides the setting for the delightful short documentary My Pantanal. This fazenda houses the usual inhabitants: cattle, horses and pantanieros – the cowboys. But what makes this ranch unique among its neighbors is an unexpected – and surprisingly welcomed guest: the wild jaguar.
As a conservation ranch, sponsored by the big cat conservation organization Panthera, the property allows jaguars and other wildlife to roam freely on the grounds, while the ranchers and researchers develop strategies to mitigate conflicts between wildlife and livestock. My Pantanal viewers meet Aerenilso, the youthfully exuberant narrator whose family lives on the ranch, and his trusty steed, Old Man, and travel with them during their daily routine and to all the wild places they visit in between chores.
Panthera's mission is to ensure the livelihood and future of wild cats through research and global action. Visit Panthera.org to learn more about the many efforts and people involved in saving the large cats that Aerenilso so admires as he rounds up his cattle on his Pantanal.