black-collared hawk, caiman, capybara, cocoi heron, giant river otter, iguana, Jabiru, jaguar, Pantanal, ringed kingfisher, Transpantaneira, water hyacinth
An even earlier start this morning, Friday 25th September, as we were due to move about halfway back up the Transpantaneira to our third and final accommodation, for three nights. So we had a final boat trip out to say goodbye to (representatives) of our river friends of the last few days.
No jaguars this morning, so here’s Dave Allen’s reminder of our first encounter with Peter and Bianca on our first day in this area, as we gently moved off.
We didn’t stop much on the road, as we were rather short of time,
but absolutely had to take photos of the weeniest capybara ever, just six inches long. In due course we arrived at our last lodge, run by the same company that ran the flotel.The iced drink awaiting us on the veranda was so welcome, and we were soon whisked in for lunch.
After a siesta we went out for another … boat ride, in two smaller boats this time. I for one hadn’t even realised that we were to be based on rivers for this last part of our trip. There were many fewer other tourist boats. This one contains half of our party, plus naturalist and boatman.
We were not expecting to see jaguars during these last few days either. We believed we were heading out to see a family of giant river otters. And so we were. But we were delayed – by two jaguars! As we arrived, there they were, in Fiorella’s word, ‘copulating’! I just saw the end, as they rolled apart. We stayed there for quite a while,
so were quite late for otter bedtime. This little one definitely did not want to go to bed,and needed much persuasion from adults to do so.
So that was that. Bedtime for all, we thought. Then this happened:An adult came swimming directly to us, such that I found myself, when it was about 5 feet away from me, adopting my standard very singsong ‘talk to the pets’ voice, saying ‘Hello …’ Then we realised what was going on, as another otter joined in. These were habituated to humans, and took fish thrown into the water by the boatmen.
I wish I’d know this was going to happen, I would have been better prepared to take pictures. It was fun to see, but nevertheless some of us were left a little with the feeling that this was feeding time at the zoo, not natural, not what we’d travelled thousands of miles to see. The otters weren’t complaining though.