Giant Otter Gallery

On our recent trip to the Pantanal, Aimee and I invested significant time and money in search of jaguars in addition to our typical hunt for birds. While patrolling the waterways of the Rios Cuiabá and Piquiri deep in the wetlands of the region, we came across a lot more than jaguars, including tons of capybara, several monkey species, and a docile Brazilian Tapir. By far the most engaging mammal we encountered was the Giant Otter, or Pteronura brasiliensis. Large family groups would regularly swim past us in the boat, often shrieking loudly at each other or gnawing fiercely on piranhas. Although the conservation status of the otter is particularly bleak, Amazonia in Brazil and the Guianas being the last real strongholds, a trip to the Pantanal should almost certainly yield an encounter with this charismatic member of the weasel family. 



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