Do jaguars take hallucinogens?

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Offline AllenG

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Do jaguars take hallucinogens?
« on: 20/07/2009 18:53:18 »
A friend of mine was in Colombia and was told that the Tucano indians believe that jaguars regularly chew an hallucinogenic plant called yaja.  They use the same plant in their rituals saying that it increases their senses allowing them to hunt like a jaguar.

Is there any evidence that jaguars actually ingest this plant?
Could it have the same effect on the cats as it does on humans?


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Offline Chemistry4me

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Do jaguars take hallucinogens?
« Reply #1 on: 21/07/2009 06:36:23 »
Yaja?! Never heard of it.
Apparently the more known name is Ayahuasca

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Offline Don_1

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Do jaguars take hallucinogens?
« Reply #2 on: 21/07/2009 08:52:57 »
This is probably tribal mumbo-jumbo. The Jaguar is a strict carnivore, although it is known to be insectivorous also. Perhaps they have been observed taking insects from these plants and it was assumed that they were eating the plant.

Apparently it takes some boiling to produce the hallucinogenic properties of the plant, but it is also used as a cure for worms and other parasites. Since this is done by way of severe vomiting and diarrhea, I doubt any animal would choose such an option.

As for chewing it to obtain the 'courage' to go hunting, I don't think a Jaguar needs that. In fact it would be a distinct disadvantage to imagine yourself big and strong enough to tackle a Water Buffalo, or similar, which could easily turn the tables on you, leaving you dead or seriously injured.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline AllenG

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Do jaguars take hallucinogens?
« Reply #3 on: 21/07/2009 20:51:06 »
This is probably tribal mumbo-jumbo. The Jaguar is a strict carnivore, although it is known to be insectivorous also. Perhaps they have been observed taking insects from these plants and it was assumed that they were eating the plant.

Apparently it takes some boiling to produce the hallucinogenic properties of the plant, but it is also used as a cure for worms and other parasites. Since this is done by way of severe vomiting and diarrhea, I doubt any animal would choose such an option.

As for chewing it to obtain the 'courage' to go hunting, I don't think a Jaguar needs that. In fact it would be a distinct disadvantage to imagine yourself big and strong enough to tackle a Water Buffalo, or similar, which could easily turn the tables on you, leaving you dead or seriously injured.

Cats are know to eat grass.  http://www.pawsonline.info/grasseating.htm
The tribes say the drug heightens their senses and that they learned about the plant from the jaguar.
Not saying it's not mumbo jumbo, just pointing out that strict carnivores are known to eat plant matter.