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New York, New York
April 25, 2008
From journal Buenos Aires Neighborhoods
Buenos Aires, Argentina
July 20, 2005
Portuguese man Antonio Rodrigues was a professional soldier who joined Adelantado Pedro de Mendoza in his voyage to the River Plate that lead to the first and catastrophic Buenos Aires foundation in 1536. He writes:
"When we found the coasts in the River Plate, we wanted to land to choose a place where we could start building a city, the first six that landed were killed by Jaguars..." (Welcome to Argentina.)
Rodrigues became one of the first reporters on B.A. and participated in the battle of Corpus Christi during the foundation of Asunción (Paraguay) and in the election of Capital Irala (replacing Pedro de Mendoza) that took place in San Fernando harbor in 1549. Years later, in Brazil, Rodrigues join the Jesuits and participate in Sao Paulo’s foundation. A letter he sent to his brother's Jesuits in Coimbra (Portugal) in 1553 is a historic "pearl" that can be found in a few history books.
Alcide d Órbigny, almost three hundred years later in 1827, sailed the estuary of the River Plate and Paraná River, arriving in Corrientes, where it stayed for one year, including visits to Iberá Marshes. He landed on many occasions, hunting for food and starting a collection nowadays partially exhibited in Paris's Natural Science Museum, where he was a distinguished member.
He refers, while exploring this aggressive natural paradise full of mosquitoes, neverending exuberant vegetation, exotic birds, and animals; the dangers and fears due to Yaguaretes, between others.
On various occasions, he describes close encounters with "the beast" that has attacked and killed horses, cattle, and residents, even in villages. Probably these episodes, a mix of reality and myth, happened when the feline looking for food in its own territory attacked due to its natural instinct of preservation. It was hunted with the aid of dogs that surrounded the animal, providing a chance for the hunter to kill it. Yaguaretes' beautiful leather was used by Guarany Indians to dress its fat as medicine. Considerable quantities of leather skins were exported to Europe by early inhabitants.
Tigre City owes it name to a story related to the feline that lived in trees close to the small village of Tigre in those early days, Las Conchas, and close to actual Reconquista River (Las Cochas river). During the nights, it roared, creating panic among residents. Naturalist Charles Darwin's testimony talks about the dangers that felines represented in areas close to rivers.
Since 1830, approximately, we have lost all chances to find this beautiful feline in areas close to Buenos Aires and specifically in the Delta of the Paraná River. Although close to extinction, Yaguaretes are still inhabitants of Argentinean northern provinces. Let's help to keep them alive in their habitat, not only in zoos.
From journal Tigre Delta Day Tour
June 29, 2001
Another great part of Tigre was the amusement park, Parque de la Costa, which had two excellent roller coasters. The stunt show was amusing as well; though I don't normally go for that type of thing, it was fun to experience it in a different language.
From journal Hello, Buenos Aires