Watch this Jaguar Leap 25 Feet from a Tree to Hunt an Alligator

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: October 24, 2022
Image Credit Adalbert Dragon/
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If you have a domesticated cat at home, you know it loves to perch from the highest point in your environment to stake out the place. An aerial view provides the best vantage point, whether your sweet kitty wants to take you by surprise, hunt down a doggo sibling, or simply enjoy the view of the peasants beneath it.

Big cats are no different. They climb trees to get the best vantage point — except when they pounce, they’re not trying to be playful! They’re trying to make sure they eat. In fact, the word jaguar comes from the indigenous word “yaguar,” which means, “he who kills with one leap.”

This video clip starts with a shot of the mighty jaguar standing on a thick tree branch. Its body is so large it makes its head look small. The unmistakable jaguar print litters its body, with the darkest spots showing up on the underside of its belly, back legs, and tail.

Its stare is steady. Then, the video cuts to a shot of an alligator’s head coming up a few inches above the water. Trees and plants surround it. The caiman is going about its business, and you wouldn’t think too much of it but some subtitles on the screen help you understand what’s going on.

The jaguar is perched above the alligator, imperceptible and ready to attack. It had been stalking the alligator from its vantage point and the alligator was none the wiser. There’s a serene moment when the alligator looks over to its left before the video cuts to the next amazing scene.

The jaguar has decided it’s time to pounce and leaps from the tree directly on top of the alligator. They both disappear into the water with a loud and large splash. The water ripples away from the commotion just before the video replays in slow motion.

Shortly after being completely submerged, the jaguar emerges with the alligator in its mouth. “There they are!” a man says as the woman behind the camera giggles at what she’s just witnessed.

You hear a final whispered, “wow,” from one of the spectators as the jaguar disappears into the brush lining the water. The close proximity of the humans to this action scene is already insane, but to have captured it all on camera? Now that was great timing.

Watch as this unsuspecting alligator becomes a jaguar’s afternoon meal.

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Adalbert Dragon/
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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

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