This is the moment an extremely fortunate jaguar that was on the verge of drowning in the middle of a river was saved by some sailors who tied a rope to a log and threw it to the big cat so they could drag it to the shore.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) was rescued from the mouth of the Leon River which is located in the Turbo municipality of Colombia’s Antioquia region and which drains into the Caribbean Sea, according to a statement by the Colombian Navy (ARC) that was released on November 15.
Local fishermen noticed the jaguar swimming about two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the shore and informed the Uraba Coast Guard Station.
A boat was sent to the scene and the sailors tied a rope to a log which they then threw to the big cat hoping it would latch on to it with its sharp claws.
The cat was suspicious of the sailors at first and it took over an hour of trial and error before it grabbed the lifeline.
After latching onto the log the big cat can be seen in the video floating calmly behind the boat on its way back to the shore.
The jaguar was taken from the shore and returned to its natural habitat in a protected mangrove area.
It is still unclear how the feline ended up in the middle of the river so far from the bank, added the ARC.
The jaguar is the only living member of the genus Panthera native to the Americas. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the big cat as ‘Near Threatened’.
The jaguar is the largest cat species in the Americas and the third-largest in the world with a maximum length of 1.85 metres (6.1 feet) and a weight of up to 96 kilogrammes (212 lbs).
Jaguars can be found from Mexico all the way through Central and South America in countries including Brazil, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia and Colombia.
The species is threatened by the destruction of its habitat and illegally killing.
Jaguars are often killed for attacking the livestock of farmers and for their valuable body parts which are traded on the black market.
The ARC concluded their statement by saying that they are committed not only to safeguarding human life on the water but also to promoting the protection of animals and the environments that they inhabit.