What a ´otter fun!
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Some of you may remember Tracie taking a month to study hawk moths some 5 years ago- this was also in the pantanal but in a remote part on the Paraguay side... She spent weeks there and caught one glimpse of the giant otter before it swam off. This was the animal I wanted to see, more so even than the jaguar which lords it over the dry land of this protected region and is even rarer.
Well it appeared it was not to be, our able guide took us on boat tours, walks through the bush, night safaris and horse riding but no sign of the elusive king
They like their animals giant over here. Beautiful kingfishers the size of large seagulls that laugh hyena like as they circle. Tom says it's because they're happy it's mating season. Enormous jabberwocky stalks (actually jaburi but tomato, tomato), capibara- the world's largest rodents which are basically sheep sized Guinea pigs with webbed feet, and traditional red as well as midnight blue macaws way too big for your average pirates shoulder (arrrrr...)
But otter wise just a regular sized one - a great view of it too - and Tom says we're really lucky to have seen that out of the water. Who does this giant otter think he is anyway? I thought on our last outing to fish for the deadly piranha..
"Otter!" said Tom, and about twenty metres up river there it was taking a plunge into the water and heading straight for us. It emerged just in front of the boat poking its huge head above water, staring at us, then plunging again. Its big this thing, Tom says something like 2 metres long. Just when you think it's all over it emerges again, swimming backwards away from us, looking us in the eye, bearing its teeth and letting out a strange, fearsome bark as if to say "come on then if you think you're hard enough" before finally disappearing underwater. I underestimated you giant otter. I am most definitely not hard enough. All hail the king of the pantanal waters!