When both high-end vehicles and football teams name themselves after an animal, you have to assume that it's a pretty special one.
Unlike most fascinating big cats, the jaguar has somehow become a mascot for cool while maintaining its legendary reputation for being a deadly predator. But unfortunately, thanks to deforestation and poachers who hunt it for its beautiful fur, there are only 15,000 jaguars left.
Why should you care? Well, in addition to the chain reactions that occur as animals become endangered and interconnected ecosystems become imbalanced, you should care simply because every time one of these amazing creatures dies, we lose a magnificent animal.
Here are a few reasons jaguars are worth saving.
1. It's one of the only cats that enjoys water.
The largest big cat in South America is one of the few that actually enjoys and hunts in water. Native to the rain forest, jaguars are comfortable in almost any conditions.
2. Despite only weighing about 100 to 250 pounds, they can hunt prey much larger than themselves.
3. Jaguar cubs are just insanely cute.
So a jaguar can run 50 miles per hour, swim, look cute and kill large prey. But what else?
4. Well, they can climb, too.
5. They also have the coolest name.
The name jaguar actually comes from the Native American word yaguar, which means "he who kills with one leap."
These beautiful creatures are just one part of an incredibly complex rainforest ecosystem, one threatened by habitat loss. To help fight for this amazing animal and its home, go check out Greenpeace's campaign to end deforestation in the Amazon or fight back against poaching.
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