The Amazon rainforest is home to thousands of species. From minute exotic insects to ferocious jaguars, you can expect absolutely anything when it comes to this ecosystem’s wildlife. One of the most peculiar species is the river otter, which attracts several tourists every year. Want to know why? Keep reading to find out.
The Giant Otter is Huge
The Giant Otter can grow up to six feet long, and only it’s tail can add another 70 cm to the total body length. That’s about as long as a tall person and twice the size of the North American river otter. It is one of the largest otter in the world and that alone makes it worth seeing.
It’s Swimming Ability
It is a well-known fact that otters spend a lot of time in water, but as crazy as it may seem, giant otters are born not knowing how to swim. During the first two months of life they don’t have their useful sea legs, so it takes a while before they can start swimming. Once they start, they become as agile as their parents.
It’s Wonderful Home
The habitat of the giant otter is limited to two rivers located in South America, the Orinoco and La Plata rivers. The Orinoco River is located in the Amazon and is one of the largest and longest in the world, as it hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna including this furry mammal.
The giant otter is a predator of the apex, in other words, it is at the top of the food chain. It feeds mainly on fish, including cichlids, snails (such as piranha) and catfish. The giant otter appears to be opportunistic and smart, hunting any species that is abundant. If fish are unavailable, it will also catch crabs, snakes, and even small caimans and anacondas.
Giant Otters are Endangered
Unfortunately the giant otter population is decreasing more and more. It faces threats from hunters who illegally sell their fur, as well as habitat loss due to deforestation. The giant otter is the rarest of its species, but we hope conservation efforts will increase their numbers and allow rivers to be filled with these wonderful animals.
Parents care for their offspring by hunting fish or hiding in burrows by the river or under fallen logs. Otters are also very social creatures and spend time grooming and communicating with each other in their own language.
If you want to see this fun and friendly otter, you can take advantage of visiting the incredible Amazon rainforest, which is also home to unique wildlife, making it one of the most beautiful and exuberant places on earth. To see and explore the Amazon, including the beautiful species it hosts, we offer you a comfortable stay and a variety of tours in the best area of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Yacuma Ecolodge was built in a sustainable way to leave the least environmental impact. Reserve your room with us here.