Why work in the KAZA Transboundary Protected Area?
“From a faunal standpoint, it could be the most exciting place on Earth,” he told us. “The chance to work in an area in Africa where, in most respects, it is just like it was millennia ago—that’s amazing.”
A great moment in the field:
While working in South America, Giordano says, he and his research team spotted a male jaguar crossing the road. They stopped their truck, and after a half-hour of “painful restraint,” he followed the huge cat into the forest: “I’m just looking for signs at this point; in my opinion, we missed him. I thought maybe I could get really fresh scat, and I could bag it. I’m almost a football field or so from the truck, and I look up, and standing about 15 feet away is the jaguar, completely camouflaged in the brush. He was there the whole time—never moved a muscle, he didn’t even twitch. As my eyes fell on him, I started to see the pattern on his coat. It was amazing to see him not there and then there…That experience still blows me away. I think of all the big cats, they seem to have the most respect for people. They could end your life without thinking about it—it would be a matter of 10 seconds—and yet there is something in their behavior which suggests they’re aware that’s not the way it’s supposed to go.”