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Writen by: Augusto Rodríguez

My name is Darwin Chalá and I work at Mashpi Lodge in the butterfly house. A few days ago I had the rarest encounter…

While I was working in the reserve along the Malimpias trail in the early morning, a noise in among the layer of leaves on the forest floor caught my attention. When I made my way towards the place where I had heard the sound, I found myself face to face with a puma!

At that moment, time stood still. Slowly, I took my smartphone out and was able to take this video. It was a young, female puma that was walking along the trail.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this was an amazing experience: to be able to observe this animal that is normally so shy, and that, on this occasion, did nothing more than look at me like curious object.  This sighting is good news for us at the reserve because it shows us that the Mashpi forest is in a good condition, sheltering a top predator like a puma.

The sighting of a puma tells us that there is enough food for this species, which underlines the importance of conservation areas for the functioning and protection of the forests of the Ecuadorian Chocó.

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