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‘The Women Who Saw The Puma’

Many of our vacations are outdoorsy. We tend to go to places where we can unplug, do some hiking and look for birds and animals. We just returned from our first adventure in Costa Rica and cannot say enough good things about the country. Like our other vacations, we went a little off the beaten path and headed to an ecolodge called Lapa Rios. I’ll post other images and video clips form the trip, but I wanted to break-out this one encounter.

Heading into the rainforest is discouraged without guides. Just about everything has the potential to sting or kill you. Guides are the way to go. At out ecolodge there was one self-guided trail that took about an hour to hike. Janice and I decided to spend a morning quietly walking it to look for birds. We were having amazing sightings – hummingbirds and my first coati (an animal in the raccoon family). A large ground bird suddenly flew across the trail, just clearing our heads. We looked around for more birds and then decided to keep walking. I was replaying the encounter over in my head and it occurred to me that we did not scare the bird, something else did. At that moment I looked to my left and about 20 feet away was a puma standing on a downed tree. All I could say was, “Janice, there’s a cat.” At that point Janice was standing in a notch where the trail bisected the fallen tree. My brain was still processing how large it was – about 60 pounds we think. The three of us looked at each other and I was able to snap one frame as it turned into the woods. The experience was amazing – although I must admit I think if he had stood his ground I would have had a different reaction.

When we returned to the lodge, we shared our story and before long we became known as “the women who saw the puma.”

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