Stop the Press - Puma!

Friday, June 22, 2007

These pictures are by Alex. The first day of looking for puma was productive, as we met the rangers and learned more about puma habits. Generally, most people don't see puma here in the park. The trekking guide had only seen one puma in years, which is pretty typical for the trekking guides here. Mostly, they spend time taking the tourists to the glaciers and are more interested in the spectacular scenery. The puma generally hunt at night, which also limits the sightings.
Yesterday, day two of puma spotting, was extraordinarily successful. In the morning, on our way to the ranger station, I spotted an adult near the road. The female was stalking guanaco (seen in the above picture.) A few minutes later, Trent spotted a pair of cubs lounging on some rocks. Alex and Trent spent a while with the pair, and were able to take more photos, including the third photo above.
The boys continued hiking for a few hours, and they came across one more puma. At the end of the day, when checking in with the park rangers, Trent managed to spot yet another puma. Trent saw FIVE puma in a single day in four separate sightings.
In case you're worried about how close the boys are to the puma, know that the boys have pretty large lenses on their cameras. Trent is shooting with a 500mm lens, and Alex has a 400mm with a 2x converter. The pumas were much farther away than they seem in the photo!