I have found a great post on Panthera’s blog. For those who do not know, Panthera is an excellent NGO dedicated to protecting the world’s wild cats and their habitats. The article is written by Stephanny Arroyo Arce, a Panthera biologist working in Costa Rica, and it details what you should do if you meet a wild jaguar.
I am not going to go into much detail, because I want you to read the original post. But most of the suggestions are similar to what is recommended for other large predator encounters: avoid sudden movements, pick up small children without bending over, slowly raise your arms to look big, back away slowly, and never turn your back on the animal or run away. There is also a set of recommendations for what to do if you meet a jaguar while you are in a boat, since jaguars are excellent swimmers.
There is much more information in Stephanny Arroyo Arce’s original article, along with some truly wonderful illustrations. I highly recommend you click here to check it out!
Lastly, here is an incredible video from the WWF of a rare black jaguar swimming across the Tapajós River (Rio Tapajós in Portuguese) in Brazil. Now you have proof that encountering jaguars in the water is not unheard of!