For our story on jaguars, which are rarely seen in the wild, the "60 Minutes" team headed deep into a wetland and jungle region of Brazil called the "Pantanal." The region is not far from the Bolivian border.
Getting to the Pantanal was is not a quick trip: our team flew from New York to Sao Paulo, connected to a flight to the town of Cuiaba, and then drove four hours deep into the wilderness. When they got there, the team navigated the Cuiaba River by boat, where they came across all kinds of animals - in this case a curious caiman, checking out cameraman Dan Bussell.
Caiman are related to crocodiles and live in the river. They are also part of jaguars' diet.
An aerial shot of the Pantanal.
The real star of our story: the jaguar. Managing to photograph one in daylight is no small feat - these magnificent animals hunt by night and sleep by day.
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, center, is the world's foremost authority on jaguars. He has been researching the big cats for some 30 years. But his first encounter with a jaguar was not in the wild - it was in the Bronx Zoo. He was hooked!
While filming our story, we came across other creatures, including rare river otters.
Also making an appearance by the river was an anaconda.
According to one of our guides, this specimen was nine feet long.
Our team stayed in a lodge along the river; and the trees outside were a favorite hangout of hyacinth macaws. They're beautiful, but according to Associate Producer Coleman Cowan, they also made quite a ruckus at night.
hyacinth macaw in flight
The Porto Jofre Lodge, our home base for several days on the Cuiaba River.
Bob Simon, left, took a horseback ride with Tom Kaplan, who is co-founder of "Panthera," a new conservation group. Panthera has been buying up cattle ranches connecting jaguars' natural territory so the animals can safely roam from region to region.
In the past, farmers would kill jaguars for taking down their cattle; now ranches owned by Panthera are like a safe corridor of passage. The conservation group is also winning over the cattle ranchers the old fashioned way by improving their lives, building schools and clinics.
The ranchers - now employees of Panthera - still herd and brand their cattle.
But there's one difference: a new branding iron resembling the paw print of a jaguar.
It's because of their elusive nature, their power and their beauty, that jaguars have long been worshiped by tribes as demigods, whose real home is a spiritual world which man cannot even fathom.