Wednesday, April 02, 2008

South American Highlights #4

Caymen Hunting

After supper one night, while we were at the Eco Park Lodge, we went out caymen hunting. Caymen belong to the crocodilian family of reptiles and at night when you shine a spotlight on them, you can see their eyes. This makes them much easier to catch!

We used these boats, which held 8 - 10 people, to take several side trips while we were at the lodge. This picture was taken long before we headed out on our night trip.

This aboriginal man was with our group several times while we were in the jungle and he was the one who actually caught the cayman. We traveled along the edge of the river, in amongst the reeds and trees, trying to spot the little guys. We glided along soundlessly and it took about 20 - 30 minutes to finally get close to one. When the 2 guides spied the caymen running through the shallow water, this fellow quickly pinned him down in the water using a forked stick. Then he hopped into the water, picked him and brought him into the boat. The cayman was about 2 years old, weighed maybe 5 - 6 pounds, had a long tail and was quite calm as long as he was held with 2 hands. When it was time to let him go, they laid him upside down on his back on the dock and after a few minutes he flipped over and slid back into the water.

Just in case you are fooled (like I was!), this man is actually 31 years old. I was thinking maybe 19 or 20 - not the same age as our son!! It seemed to me that Brazilian men are often older than they look.

I love the looks on Edgar and Janet's faces.

We each had a chance to hold the little guy in the boat. Bill looks a bit surprised and I think Louise is ready to bail out!

Our boat was the only one that actually caught a caymen on this night so we brought him back to the dock and everyone had a chance to have a photo op. The little adventure was great evening entertainment!


  1. I'm surprised you're holding it. ;) I didn't think you liked reptiles that much, but I guess he seems a little less threatening than a crocodile. I'm glad you were both so adventurous on this trip.

  2. I can't believe you are holding it! Such a neat little adventure though!