A camera caught images of the elusive wild dog Speothos venaticus for the first time in the country. The sighting occurred in Talamanca mountains, according to the National Geographic.
This is the first time that the mountain dog has been spotted in Costa Rica. It has been seen at a maximum elevation of 1500 meters above sea level in rare occasions.
According to National Geographic, the finding was made by Jan Schipper, who hoped to see images of jaguars while reviewing photographs of camera traps installed around the mountains of Talamanca. What the biologist saw instead was a short, plump carnivore that is rarely observed.
We had tried so hard to find something that was incredibly weird that when we finally got the picture, it was like Christmas,”
said Schipper, director of conservation research at the Phoenix Zoo.
The dog is the size of a domestic cat; it lives in forests from the south of Brazil to the north of Panama.
This finding will help scientists unravel mysteries about the night canine, which is extremely difficult to track or capture with these types of devices.
We had cameras in the area for 12 years, and this is the first image we have,”
says Schipper in the publication.
Based on archaeological evidence showing that mountain dogs are not native to Costa Rica, Schipper suspects that the animals he saw were recent immigrants.