Sunday, December 23, 2012

Giant River Otters - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a Giant River Otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil

Fifteen or twenty minutes after our Jaguar sighting, we came across a group of Giant River Otters at their den. This was the first of two sightings we had of this rare species. Photographs of the second sighting are available here. When we came across them, they had just come out of their den and stepped into the water.

More photographs inside.
A photograph of a Giant River Otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
 Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil

During this sighting we were fortunate to see the Otters out of the water and appreciate their size. Their bodies were a lot longer than I initially expected and they can grow up to 6 feet in length. We were also able to see their webbed feet quite clearly along with their powerful tails which are used to propel them through the water.

A photograph of a Giant River Otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil

As soon as we saw them, I dropped the anchor out of the boat and we drifted closer to where they were. They didn't seem too bothered by us and went about their business and only stopped every now and then for the occasional glance in our direction. Some of them were quite curious and swam up to a submerged logged and watched us for a while before swimming off again.

A photograph of a Giant River Otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil

Unfortunately only a few thousand Giant River Otters are said to live in the wild. They have been hunted for their pelts for years and this has resulted in them being added to the endangered species list.

A photograph of a Giant River Otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil

Since we were in a boat, photographing these animals from a relatively low position was quite easy. However, because of the branches and the over-hanging trees, getting a clear shot of the Otters proved to be a bit difficult. I used the 100-400 on the Canon 7D and the 24-105 on the Canon 5D Mark III for these photographs. I didn't have to use a tripod.

A photograph of a Giant River Otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil






Share on Facebook
Post a Comment