July 24, 2017
A Claylick is for the Amazon what a water whole is for the African plains. Many species –Macaws, Parrots, Guans, Monkeys, Capybaras, Tapirs, and many, many more- visit claylicks to consume some clay. Many animals do this to get minerals that are rare in the Amazonian soil, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which are vital for the proper functioning of cells. Other animals ingest clay to level their acidic pH, which they got by consuming green fruits that weren’t ready for consumption yet.
Here is a video of a family of Capybaras visiting the Blanquillo Claylick:
At Tambo Blanquillo – Private Reserve, we have the Blanquillo Claylick, the biggest claylick open to the public in the Amazon Rainforest, and the only one with a comfortable viewing platform (hide) located less than 50 meters away from where the action happens.
As previously mentioned, these places are hubs for wildlife, but over the last couple years, we have documented something rather unique. We have found that both Jaguars and Ocelots visit our Claylick in order to hunt Macaws.
A few years ago, we were filming some videos for an upcoming promotional video, and magic happened. A Jaguar had sneaked into one of the crevices of the Claylick –without us knowing it- and decided to jump and take a swing at the unsuspecting macaws while we were –luckily- filming. After this incident, we have received many reports of Jaguars around the Claylick, both by tourists and by biologists. We hope the Jaguar sticks around, as it is one of the hardest species to see in the Amazon.
Video of the Jaguar:
In addition to the Jaguar, early last year our guide Darwin managed to record in HD something rather unique. An Ocelot managed to successfully take down a Red-and-Green Macaw when more than 30 tourists were watching from our hide! Again, this cat has been reported more and more in the last year or so.
Video of the Ocelot hunting a Macaw:
As our conservation efforts -chasing illegal loggers, miners, and poachers away from the area, giving jobs to local people, and protecting the forest through sustainable ecotourism- start to pay dividends, these sightings of wild cats in the area are becoming more and more common. This July, tourists reported a Jaguar on the Claylick hunting for macaws. As if this was not enough, the following day, a different group of tourists reported an Ocelot unsuccessfully chasing macaws. We are extremely happy for these events, and we hope they become more frequent, as we wish all our visitor have the chance to really experience the wilderness of the Amazon Rainforest.
If you wish to try your luck and visit us, or happen to have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.