They film a puma in a rice area of ​​Treinta y Tres

A puma was seen in August in two rural areas of the department of Treinta y Tres, in an area known as Bombas de Benavidez and in another near the Cipa rice farm. The sightings occurred about 30 kilometers from the departmental capital, in a rice-growing region near Route 17, which connects the departmental capital with the town of General Enrique Martínez, better known as La Charqueda.

In the case that occurred in Bombas de Benavidez, the animal was filmed.

The news was given by the local radio station FM Conquistador. Zoologist Carlos Prigioni confirmed it. The researcher told The Observer that a group of wild boar “controllers” filmed the puma on August 10, at 11 p.m.

Wild boar “controllers” are hunters who are called in by producers when they see that these animals are damaging their crops or attacking sheep.

“These boar controllers, who have thermal infrared sights, which can also record, they saw it. The one who brought me the recording told me: ‘If we hadn’t seen it through the scope, we wouldn’t have known about it. Because he didn’t make a noise, he didn’t scream, there was absolute silence.’ This is so because the cougars move like ghosts. And one night they are there and the next they can be 15, 20 or 30 kilometers away.”

Puma hunting is prohibited and punished. The species is protected by law.

Prigioni stated that the recording obtained was sent to specialists from Brazil, Chile, Bolivia and the United States and all agreed that the recorded animal is a puma. Prigoni is now working on a scientific article that accounts for this sighting, together with his colleague Álvaro Sappa.

The records of this feline, which decades ago was considered extinct in Uruguayan territory, have been increasing in recent times.

In an article they wrote in January 2021 for the digital publication Actas Zoológicas Platenses, Prigoni and his colleagues Sappa and Juan Sebastián Villalba-Macías recalled several cases in recent years. In 2018, puma tracks were found on a beach in Rocha. In 2019, Toribio Costa ran into a puma in Colonia Lavalleja, near the Arapey Chico river. Chased by several dogs, the animal climbed a tree, where Costa managed to photograph it with his cell phone. On March 27, 2020, wild boar “controller” Walberto Rebollo observed and recorded a young puma in the Potrero Sucio area, in Artigas, near the Cuareim River. On December 29, 2020, on the banks of a tributary ravine of the Arapey Chico, another puma was seen in Las Flores, Salto.

According to the researchers in that work, there are several hypotheses that could explain the reasons why the puma seems to be returning to inhabit the Uruguayan territory.

“On the causes of a possible recolonization of the species -they maintain- environmental disturbances in neighboring countries, the depopulation of the campaign, the generation of biological corridors due to commercial afforestation and climatic changes due to increased temperature and rainfall that could have been considered could be considered. generated changes, in turn, in plant formations”.

Prigioni said that several residents of La Charqueda have seen pumas in recent months, and it could be presumed that it is the same animal recorded by the hunters.

“The mayor’s brother found him, the animal climbed a post, and he got a terrible scare.”

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