He pads lithely through the jungle while following the threads of fascinating scents wafting about in the winter air. It is winter, although he has no name for it. Not like the humans do. He knows it simply as a time of less heat and scarcer water. He knows it as a time of hunting grown harder.
He does hunt. Often. The belly brooks no want and the claws must be kept sharp. So in the faded sunlight that oozes down below the leaves the beast rises to his feet each dawn and dusk. There is blood on the wind and flesh on the bone. The hunger calls, and the time has come to feed the maw.
He picks his way down the hillside, paws gripping the moss covered stones. He knows nothing of the hands that shaped the stones, built the ziggurat that he has only known as a part of his natural world. There are temples there. He knows these things as places of power. He feels it in his legs, his belly, his jaws.
He makes his way to the edge of a small plateau. Sitting back on his haunches he can see far and wide over the river valley while remaining hidden in the leaves and brush. Below him, vultures and parrots skim the emerald canopy. Their cries echo. The hunger grows. A low rumble rises from his belly, and he growls.
He raises his muzzle to draw a deep breath into his lungs. The raspy tongue presses the roof of his mouth in an attempt to extract as much scent from the air as he can. Something kaleidoscopes across the scent memory in his brain. His paws twitch, claws gleaming in the winter light. The claws are sharp, and he knows it.