Man goes blind because he got bacteria from jaguar's poop

Roberval Tavares de Almeida is a Brazilian biologist whose work revolves around the study of jaguars. But because of one of them, he has lost his sight.

man goes blind bacteria jaguar poop animal wildlife
© Mike Van Den Bos / Unsplash
man goes blind bacteria jaguar poop animal wildlife

When you think of jaguars and the worst that could happen to you if you came across one, going blind is certainly the last thing on your mind. Yet this was the unfortunate experience of Brazilian biologist Roberval Tavares de Almeida.

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97% blind

Passionate about jaguars, Roberval Tavares de Almeida has chosen to dedicate his life and career to them. For over 20 years, he has been studying their population in Costa Rica through conservation programs. But surprisingly enough, this man of the field is blind. In 2003, an unfortunate event involving the biggest cat in the Americas caused him to lose 97% of his sight. No frontal aggression is to be deplored; the culprit is none other than an excrement.

Ocular toxocariasis

Ocular toxocariasis is a pathology caused by the presence of larvae and worms in the droppings of certain felines, including jaguars. Initially evolving into inflammation, toxocariasis leads to impaired vision and even blindness if not treated in time. For Roberval Tavares de Almeida, poor handling or direct contact with soiled soil may be the cause.

Jaguar droppings are of particular interest to scientists. Without having to disturb or capture them, they enable us to understand what these discreet animals feed on, as well as determining their overall state of health. Despite this unfortunate incident, Almeida's passion for jaguars remains intact. Still out in the field, he now uses his sense of smell, hearing and touch to detect their passage through a given area.

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This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

Sources used :


National library of Medicine

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