São Paulo, BrazilThe jaguar’s paws were raw and pink when volunteers found him at the river’s edge, his final destination in a desperate search for water.
Since January, sweeping wildfires—likely set by farmers clearing land—have scorched nearly 20 percent of the young male's habitat in the Brazilian Pantanal, part of the world’s largest tropical wetland. Stretching across Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, the 70,000-square-mile Pantanal has the highest density of mammal species on Earth. While the Amazon rainforest, which is 30 times the size of the Pantanal, usually makes headlines with frequent wildfires, such blazes are not as common in the Pantanal. The biggest fires in the Pantanal this year are four times larger than the Amazon's biggest blazes,