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Nigel Marven fulfills his childhood dream of meeting a jaguar in the wild!

The Pantanal – the world’s biggest wetland, the size of Britain… and home to the planet’s largest population of Jaguars. These big cats are notoriously hard to find, let alone film but after reported regular sightings Nigel Marven couldn’t wait to get there.

Over four weeks, Nigel comes face-to-face with the Pantanal’s most spectacular and charismatic residents – from curious Armadillos and Giant Otters to amorous Anacondas and hungry Anteaters. Obsessed by reptiles, Nigel gets up to his neck in Caiman-infested waters (there are 10 million of these crocodiles here) and endures a painful encounter with a Brazilian Water Cobra.

But it’s the jaguars that steal the show. Previously crews have either filmed captive jaguars or managed to catch just fleeting glimpses of wild animals. We heard of one biologist who hadn’t seen one in 11 years of trying. But a statistics-obsessed local expert promised us 1.2 jaguar sightings per day. On his stretch of river we saw 9 in 7 days (managing to film 7) - exceeding even these seemingly wild expectations.

Jaguar Adventure with Nigel Marven

In the first episode Nigel enters the Pantanal via the Transpantaneira Highway – the only way to reach the heart of the Monster Swamp. It’s the end of the dry season, and animals are gathering in the shrinking pools next to the road. Nigel hopes that Jaguars will follow the abundant prey… Nigel manages to surprise a mating pair of anacondas. But in getting to grips with a highly aggressive False Water Cobra, Nigel gets more than he bargained.

The jaguars have so far proved elusive but in the second show Nigel realises his childhood dream of finding a jaguar in the wild – calmly eying him up from the riverbank. Incredibly, he hits the jaguar jackpot for a second time, encountering a heavyweight male cooling off in the shallows of the Rio Cuiaba.

Nigel’s fast becoming a jaguar junkie – and he needs a new fix. He wants to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to learn as much as he can about these outrageously beautiful and little understood animals. Scouring the river day after day, Nigel encounters more extraordinary swamp monsters and in episode three encounters giant Toads, a fishing party of Skimmers and a prehistoric looking Iguana. And his jaguar luck holds when he discovers not one but two jaguars.

In episode four, Nigel’s adventures continue as he meets more of the Pantanal’s astonishing animals – including a giant anteater with a baby on its back, a troop of super-intelligent monkeys, and a colony of over 80 vividly coloured macaws. It’s Nigel’s last chance to track down and radio-collar a jaguar and this enigmatic animal has one last surprise in store for him…

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