Waracabra Tiger

Unknown Cat of South America.

Etymology: After Waracabra, the Guyanese name for the Gray-winged trumpeter (Psophia crepitans), because of this bird's loud cry.

Variant names: Warracaba jaguar, Y'agamish-eri (Akawaio/Carib).

P^hysical description: Like the common jaguar but variable in size and color.

Behavior: Hunts in large packs of up to 100, unlike normal jaguars, which are solitary hunters. Howls loudly. Heard but rarely seen. Not afraid of fire. Hates water and dogs. Frightened by the barking of dogs.

Habitat: Mountains.

Distribution: West-central Guyana.

Significant sighting: Charles Barrington Brown's party heard the approach of a pack of these animals in the mid-nineteenth century during an expedition to the interior. His Indian guides crossed the river to avoid it. On the side where they had been, they heard shrill screams, low growls, and trumpeting sounds.

P^ossible explanation: The Bush dog (Speothos venaticus) hunts in packs, yapping while in pursuit of prey. It also engages in high-pitched whining. Rare and little seen over much of its range, which extends from Panama to Guyana, Brazil, and Bolivia.

Sources: Charles Barrington Brown, Canoe and Camp Life in British Guiana (London: E. Stanford, 1876); Everard Ferdinand im Thurn, Among the Indians ofGuiana (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, 1883); Henry Kirke, Twenty-Five Years in British Guiana (London: Samuel Low, Marston, 1898); William Bridges, in Animal Kingdom 57 (1957): 25-28; Lee S. Crandall, A Zoo Man's Notebook (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966), pp. 77-78; Karl Shuker, Mystery Cats of the World (London: Robert Hale, 1989), pp. 193-195.

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