home of the jaguars

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Throwing it back to 2012 and 2 bundles of jaguar joy. 😻😻 As jaguar numbers decline, each birth in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) helps to establish an assurance population for animals in danger of becoming extinct. Wild jaguars are in serious trouble. Over 30% of the rain forests they call home have been destroyed—and when the rain forests disappear, jaguars disappear. Even though we’re hard at work at the San Diego Zoo, we’re also busy on the front lines of jaguar conservation. Be a hero for wildlife and support our efforts: http://bit.ly/SDZGWCjag

FEBRUARY 10 - Aimée & Jaguar (1999)

On this day in 1999, the film Aimée & Jaguar was first released in its home country of Germany. Set during World War II, the movie tells the true and devastating love story of Lilly Wust and Felice Schragenheim, one the wife of a respected Nazi soldier and the other a Jewish journalist hiding in plain sight at a Nazi controlled newspaper.

The film begins in Berlin in the 1990s; two old women meet in a nursing home, and when the narrator sweeps back in time to 1943, you know you are in for a decades-long story that will stick with you long after the credits roll. The foundation of Aimée & Jaguar is something we’ve all seen before: bored housewife is swept off her feet by the charismatic and dangerous queer. However, what makes Aimee & Jaguar stand out from the crowd of a dozen other lesbian movies is the lingering knowledge that these were real women who actually lived and loved in the city that was the heart of the Nazi empire; a gang of lesbian friends all sitting around a table joking and playing cards, or a Jewish woman in full suit and top hat waltzing around a ballroom with her lover are the type of images that I never would have associated with 1940s Berlin before I saw this movie. They are the type of lived experiences that have been buried under the mythologizing of WWII-era Europe, and it is through Aimée & Jaguar that you are able to see that, even though it was stifled under the rise of fascism, Germany’s thriving gay culture of the 1920s and 1930s was still there, still dancing and laughing and kissing no matter how many closed doors and curtains it was forced to hide behind. At the beginning of the movie, I wondered why it wasn’t titled Lily & Felice or something more obvious, but by the end I had come to realize just how crucial Lily and Felice’s pet names were to their relationship, and just how important sublimated identity was during this time for lgbtq people, for Jewish people, and for any marginalized person living under Hitler’s rule.

The real Felice Schragenheim and Lilly Wust as pictured in Erica Fischer’s novel. The text at the bottom reads: (Left) Felice, in a photo taken by Lilly, on the Havel River, August 21, 1944. (Right) Lilly, in a photo taken by Felice, during the summer of 1944 on the balcony of Lilly’s apartment at Friedrichshaller Strasse 23. 

Before the film was released, Lilly and Felice’s story was told in novel form by Erica Fischer in her bestselling book Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943, which you can check out here! Or hear the story told through Lily’s own words in this 2001 interview with The Guardian.

And of course, here’s a link to the full movie on YouTube!

-LC

Pacuare Lodge- Costa Rica

Due to its location in a rainforest of the Talamanca Mountains, when you stay at this Eco Lodge, you are truly sleeping amongst nature. The rainforest is home to Sloths, Jaguars, Ocelots and Monkeys. The lodge is at the edge of a river, where you can go white water rafting.