“What a Spectacular Day”: The Reaction of a Spanish Tourist Family to the Encounter With a Puma in Corcovado

    In the Corcovado park the intensity of animal life is palpable in every square meter

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    “What a spectacular day! To finish off the day, on the way back we saw many killer whales swimming around us, just like a movie!” With this message sent to the guide Arnulfo Montes, the Spanish tourist family that ran into a puma in Corcovado expressed their emotion at that moment.

    From the outskirts of Puerto Jiménez, where he lives, this certified guide to work in the national park said that the Spaniards “were delighted” with the experience lived on national soil.

    Recounting the experience

    His father is Felipe García Hernández and his mother is Ana Rodríguez García. Both define themselves as “indefatigable travelers”, who said they have experienced the power of nature in Costa Rica. In a message sent, the Madrid family recounted the encounter with the feline in the third person:

    • “Ana was surprised by the beauty of the animal, while she held her daughter Noa, only 6 years old, by the hand. She is a young adventurer and deeply in love with animals. Noa said that she could never forget the look of the ‘moustache’”.
    • “Felipe did not feel any fear but he noticed the power of the animal. Felipe assures that he was confident that this animal was not going to do anything to them. “It is an intelligent, cunning animal and in the park it has everything it needs.
    • “Arnulfo held the eldest daughter, Iria García, 8 years old, who was also captivated and speechless with the beauty of the animal, it will be difficult for her to forget the Corcovado puma”.

    The power of nature

    “The family states that the power of nature and its authenticity are found in the Corcovado park, where the intensity of its animal life is palpable in every square meter. And where the adrenaline has risen more than anywhere else on the planet. Everyone will undoubtedly return to Corcovado”.

    Montes said that the event happened on Monday, August 1st at around 10:30 a.m. He related that he and the family were on a path when they heard the spider monkeys near the sector called the Claro River. The guide alerted the family to keep an eye out for any movement… and minutes later they found the feline about 20 meters away.

    the guide Arnulfo Montes, the Spanish tourist

    In the images, the woman is seen holding the hand of the smaller girl. The guide did the same with the older girl and the parent recorded the puma. However, Montes recounted that he told them not to crouch down to prevent the animal from seeing them as potential enemies or prey.

    Was it done right in this case?

    Víctor Hugo Montalvo, academic and wildlife researcher -one of the authorized voices on felines in Costa Rica-, explained that the guide acted in the best way. He explained that in cases like these it is better to remain calm and not approach the animals. This is because it is not known if there is a calf nearby, and the mother can react in an untimely manner. However, to date there are no reports of feline attacks on humans in the country.

    In Corcovado there is a presence of jaguars and pumas, indicated the specialist from the National University.

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