by Kelly G Cooper
Welcome into the deep Pantanal jungles of Brazil, a natural region encompassing the world’s largest tropical wetland area and home to the world’s largest population of jaguars. This landscape sprawls over an area 20 times the size of the renowned Everglades; it is located primarily within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul and extending into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay. These wetlands are among the most unique places on Earth, as they have been uninhabited and undisturbed by man. Naples philanthropist and amateur photographer Ron McGinty brings alive the immense variety of life in their natural habitat to you through his lens.
Ron is passionate about life! He finds the world full of beauty and enjoys traveling to far lands where he has the ability to share with others fascinating sights and their natural elements. Last year Ron seized the opportunity to visit the Amazon in South America. His journey began at the entrance to the National Sanctuary where he then traveled four hours deeper into the jungles of Brazil. Being a novice to the area, he did not know what was around the next corner, making this an enchanting experience with breathtaking footage one could not have predicted.
One of the most fascinating animals to document is the Brazilian Pantanal jaguar with its strength and magical beauty; one cannot help but feel a mystical connection. Ron saw fourteen distinct jaguars, each one identifiable by its unique markings. “The first person to sight a new one creates its official name and it is used on all legal published documents. This makes it fun to know which one you are tracking because of the one called “Mic Jaguar.” Ron tracked Mic whose pictures illustrate one injured eye, however still had the precise ability to see his prey, a caiman, below the waterline. Mic stopped and glared at the water for an exceedingly intense moment leaving onlookers full of anticipation and intense emotions. He then pounced twice his body length into the murky waters of the river onto a seven to eight foot caiman, wrestled the prey underwater until its head was crushed then dragged it back to shore. This meal lasted for the next three days.
This trip was the adventure of a lifetime and a challenging one at that, as the region has meager ground transport to cover its vast distances. Car travel is restricted by the seasons with the principal access road consisting of dirt sectioned by small wooden bridges; navigation is primarily though small airplanes and boats. After a full day of travel by bus, truck and boat, Ron stayed on a flotel on the Cuiaba River the home to thousands of hummingbirds, parakeets, parrots and macaws. “I was enamored with the sights of the world’s largest rodent, the capybara, along with reptiles, fish and mammals, including giant otters and Brazilian tapir.” Another day Ron completed a three-mile journey on foot through the jungle. The temperature ranged from 48-105°F, but the natural beauty was so fascinating with its wildness and quietness the temperature was immaterial.
You may find more pictures of the Pantanal jungle, as well as Jordan, Mexico, Peru and many other stunning locations at www.ronmcginty.com. Stay tuned for the next set of photos that will focus on people of India. He will be traveling to six local festivals spanning most of the country to experience new visions of anticipation.