Big Cats in Ojochal!
By Alain Guay
The love of nature and tranquility was the motivation for which Alain Guay and Jocelyne Giroux, decided to live in the Tropics, near the South Pacific of Costa Rica.
A publication in Facebook, made by the author, stunned the residents of Ojochal. The reason for the evident astonishment was not for less. On a summer night, my infrared camera captured a family of vigorous Ocelots. Interactions, surprise messages and "likes" filled the publication. Many were unaware that species of wild cats could be so close to their own homes.
As lovers of wildlife and technology, we began this summer using the biological monitoring projects at a scientific level for the Playa Tortuga Reserve, in the same modality as night trap cameras. Yes, Costa Rica is known for its abundant biodiversity, but not many neighbors of Ojochal would imagine that they could share their garden with a wild cat, which could be a jaguar or a puma. In the past, many testimonies of neighbors, along with animal footprints, showed the presence of Ocelots in Ojochal and even larger cats, such as the puma or the panther.
We have had some sightings that reveal to us that the night is full of life here. As soon as we hear small cries, crunches and footsteps in the leaves, we are curious to know their origin. To date, guatusas, raccoons, coatis, urubus, skunks, monkeys and opossums have been recorded, which complement the observation of a wide variety of birds and plants.
Far from a hobby, this idea has a clear purpose which is the contribution to environmental education. We have been witnesses and participants in the communal efforts of conservation and protection of the environment, beach cleanups, the fight against the furtive extraction of turtle eggs, and the illegal hunting of wild animals.
We are thinking about future generations and hope that they will also have the opportunity to live such encounters.