Jaguars are known for their beautiful fur coats. These coats are so beautiful, however, that many humans illegally hunt them. In a single year, approximately 13,500 jaguars were killed for their fur.
The biggest threat to this endangered species today, though, is the destruction of their natural rain forest habitat. Farmers seeking space to grow crops often cut down these forests. Because of this, the jaguar population has been forced to inhabit a smaller area. Around 100 years ago, these creatures lived as far north as California and Texas. Now, they reside primarily in Central and South America.
Jaguars live near and look similar to leopards, but their broader shoulders, shorter legs, and larger heads set them apart. They are also a unique species of wildcat because they enjoy water. In fact, jaguars are strong swimmers and can often be found near rivers and swampy areas.
Other well-known features of the jaguar include their large teeth and powerful jaws, which they can use to crack turtle shells. In addition to turtles, jaguars eat and kill a variety of animals including cattle, horses, birds, fish, and capybaras.
Though jaguars are protected by law, many worry that the population crisis they face may not have an easy solution.
[Source: 100 Wild Cats]