A middle-aged man, Erivaldo Moriman, is being praised for heroically protecting his teenage nephews from a jaguar by using his bare hands to fend off the animal. This courageous act occurred on August 13 during a camping trip in Salt do Augusto, Brazil.
Moriman, returning from a morning walk by the Juruena River saw a jaguar attacking his nephews at the campsite. He tried to distract the jaguar but ended up getting attacked himself.
Moriman bravely tried to fend off the jaguar by grabbing its leg, but the jaguar retaliated by biting his head, causing severe wounds on his scalp and significant bleeding. He recounted the terrifying moment when the jaguar let go of his nephews and turned its attention to him.
Moriman said he bravely clung to the jaguar’s leg behind a tree trunk, but his attempt to run away led to another attack, resulting in a severe bite to his head. He endured excruciating pain as he had to take a two-hour boat ride to a private lodge’s airstrip for medical treatment. Fortunately, a doctor at the lodge provided initial medical assistance to Moriman after his encounter with the jaguar. He then endured a three-hour journey to Albert Sabin Regional Hospital in Alta Floresta for further treatment. In the end, his gruesome head injuries required 150 stitches at the hospital, according to the New York Post.
Moriman, who was released from the hospital the following day, described the experience of facing a jaguar as a challenging and surreal ordeal that few would believe.
Moriman is fortunate to have survived his encounter with the jaguar because jaguars possess the most powerful bite among all large cats, as noted by the UK’s World Wildlife Fund. They need this strength in their teeth and jaws to hunt prey that can be three to four times their own weight. Typically, jaguars kill their prey with a bite to the back of the skull, in contrast to other big cats that often target the neck or throat.