Barely visible, the jaguar silently stalked through the reeds and into the murky water, before creeping onto a sandbank and pouncing on its prey.
Shockingly, the victim was a large caiman, a close relative of the crocodile.
The big cat was filmed in western Brazil, stalking the cold-blooded reptile while it lay by the Cuiaba River in the Pantanal Wetlands.
The jaguar could be seen in the video below swimming quietly across the river before sneaking up behind the caiman and sinking its teeth and claws into the neck of its prey.
It then clung onto the panicked reptile as it thrashed around, until it was able to grab a firm hold.
Photographer Justin Black, 39, who caught the attack on camera, said, “He lifted the 150-lb caiman from the ground and trotted toward the water like it was a doggie bone.”
This battle-scarred jaguar is well-known to local biologists, who have nicknamed him “Mick Jaguar.” He is estimated to be seven years old and is nearly blind in his right eye, a likely result from numerous battles defending his territory.
According to estimates, there are about 4,000 to 7,000 jaguars in the Pantanal. They have become specialist caiman killers and hunt during broad daylight, surprising the cold-blooded reptiles as they bask in the sun.
These jaguars are the largest and most powerful jaguars in South America, enabling them to take down larger prey.