You may recall the state of play when we left our protagonists in Brazil a week ago. Handsome young Adriano (think Jake Gyllenhaal) was peaceably lapping water from a river in the dusk. Lithe and lovely Patricia (Jorge's sister, Ruth's daughter, remember?) was languidly draped through a tree at a bay's edge. Meanwhile battle-scarred, ear-dented Peter (John Wayne in one of his later movies) was cheating on Bianca (with whom he had been mating two weeks earlier), breaking the heart of his clearly gay young stalker Cage (seen many times with Peter this season, including just hours after Bianca left him for his infidelity), and having his way with Ruth on the high bank of a river above a den of giant otters. (Ruth, if you recall, was deceiving Peter about her intentions: later we saw that she was clearly suckling young cubs.) Estela, strange-faced and equally worn by a hard life (I'm thinking Streep at her battered best, certainly not Mamma Mia), we left gazing wistfully over a bend in a river from a sandy bank in the evening.
Are you comfortably seated? Because what follows is sure to shake you to your core, not to say titillate the parts that others of the larger cats can't reach.
All week, since Wednesday, including today, Peter has been seen mating in the open by the Black Bay, close to the floating hotel. Who is the object of his dappled amours? Has the rift with Bianca been patched up? Has he returned to Ruth, owning his paternity of the cubs? Has he surrendered to the youthful masculine charms of Cage? Not a bit of it. Peter has spent the entire week mating Estela, our square-muzzled friend from the beach. Don't believe me? Here, courtesy of my Naturetrek colleague Karen Souza, is the proof. Can't say three-timier than that.
|Peter and Estela by Karen Souza|
Some three-hundred metres away from this scruple-free couple, yesterday a purer love was unfolding on the same bay's shore. A love between two spotless (metaphorically, obviously) young souls brought together by the poetry of the riverbank and the sad hooting of the undulated tinamou. Here, as immortalised by my talented friend Naun Amable, is the first timid loving of Adriano and Patricia, two ingénus of the Brazilian forest.
If anyone has seen either of these two waving tails with any other jaguar, I categorically don't want to know about it.