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During the hunt itself, he may chew some sedges, or piri-piri, that harbor a psychoactive, mind-focusing fungus. Shepard, who has tried them, calls them jungle Ritalin. But none of these performance enhancers guarantee success. We follow Thalia’s signals as the dark, long-limbed shapes flit away far above us. Elias bounds ahead, catches up with a female, takes aim, and looses an arrow. He misses. The monkeys bolt. There’s no chance for a second shot. If he’d had a shotgun, the monkey would have been dead.
Ocelots weigh up to 33 pounds; their diet includes rodents, lizards, sloths—and also his chickens, says hunter and farmer Elias Machipango Shuverireni. Still, he admires the cats’ beauty. P e ru ’ s wo r l d A pa rt 49 “There’s a park, but there are also people living here—right in the middle of it,” he says. “Sure, we hunt and fish, but we take just a little to feed our families. ” J ohn Terborgh, the Duke ecologist, has for many years expressed the hope that the Matsigenka would leave the park— voluntarily, he emphasizes—for the wildlife’s sake and for their own economic opportunity.