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Life in 360°: Panthera Onca

VICE and Motherboard take an in-depth look at Brazil’s jaguars.

It’s trailer time on Li360 – and today we’re looking once more at something connected to the animal kingdom. A favourite topic of ours.

When it comes to the big cats, we’ve covered most of them on Life in 360° over the last few years. Lions have cropped up a couple of times, the last occasion being in April where we visited Kruger National Park in South Africa with the safariLIVE team.  Before that we had a short film by National Geographic Explorer Martin Edström. That was at the same time as our ‘Lions and Tigers and Bears’ theme week, of course. With tigers represented by one the striped cats from Dutch zoo Dierenpark Amersfoort doing quite the number on a dangling chunk of meat. Leopards were featured as part of the same safariLIVE video with a pair of leopard siblings – although they’ve yet to have their own separate showing on here. One for the future perhaps. We’re surprisingly yet to featured my favourite of the big cats, the cheetah as of yet, unless you count Cheetah Mobile I guess. However, one big cat I was convinced we were unlikely to get featured in any 360 degree video was the jaguar.

The jaguar, or to give it its Latin name Panthera onca is actually native to the Americas, and the only member of the Panthera genus to do so that is still living. Technically this also includes “black panthers” – however, the black panther isn’t a separate big cat but a group classification for any big cats that feature from a surprisingly common colour morphism that results in a near-black melanistic appearance – effectively the opposite of albinism. Perhaps fiction’s most famous black panther, (residents of Wakanda aside) Bagheera from The Jungle Book, is actually a leopard. The jaguar is quite a solitary creature, killing through ambush and actually enjoying swimming.

One of the places the jaguar has made its home is Brazil, but all is not well. Motherboard and VICE magazine are the forces behind this twenty-minute documentary on the subject.

Living With Jaguars is a 360° film documenting wild jaguars in Brazil. Part documentary and part immersive game, Living With Jaguars explores historical and current tensions in a rural region where jaguars prey on ranchers’ cattle and ranchers kill them in retaliation. Now, ranchers and jaguars must find new ways to co-exist – or risk the future of a species under threat.”

VRFocus will be back later this week with another example of 360 degree video in action.

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