Wildlife shock in Amazon rainforest of Guyana

by on 9th May, 2014

Wildlife in Amazon rainforest of Guyana

The Amazon rainforest of Guyana brings surprises at every turn, and not just for tourists who venture to this pristine environment.

Animals get a shock too – as Tom describes one eventful night in Guyana (and more), many moons afore, in the name of conservation …


Tom writes:

“It was big and black, maybe 12ft long (2m) – a big black caiman brought onto the Rupununi riverbank in Guyana, and ‘placid’ since a noose was placed around its neck and pinned to the sand.

‘He’s a big fella’ hollered a fellow tourist to the scientists from the excellent Caiman House Project, who were busy measuring reptilian eye widths and counting tail scales.

The caiman was rolled over onto its back, revealing a glossy sheen of white scales that mirrored the clear starry night above; a sultry night, a heavy night.

A scientific finger was then robustly thrust into a small opening near the rear of the caiman’s body.

‘It’s a girl,’.



Who was more shocked between myself, the caiman or the watching beasties from the burring forest canopy, I know not.

Next, back on its belly, a small segment of tail was cut from the beast – to show it had been tagged – and swabs taken.

‘One of the biggest we’ve seen, top 10’.

It was certainly impressive. Having seen many caiman in the Amazon as only two red dots reflected by torchlight from distance, being this close was unnerving from her, for me, and I was just a voyeur. I lie. It was exhilarating.

Later that evening we handled a tree boa snake that left my hands imbued with the smell of Parmesan cheese for 24 hours, and some young caiman that would hopefully grow to a mighty 12ft length, too.


Getting involved

Guyana was my fourth Amazon trip and the most interactive, the most wildlife-rich.

We saw Harpy Eagles (and chick!), sloths, tapirs and stood next to the dirt track ‘bush’ while a hidden jaguar growled at us from within.


Caiman Guyana

Caiman in Guyana


We talked to Amerindians and enjoyed their welcoming dances, and drank rum as we glided down rivers in dug out canoes.

I felt awe as Giant Water Lilies opened in balletic style at dusk, the setting sun the light show, the chirruping frogs the chorus.

The forest’s inhabitants may grow curious as to why these humans come, or may grow extinct unless said humans protect the rainforest better.

A finger in a caiman was shocking to me and more to it, but if that is the price to pay to protect the Amazon, it may be worth paying.”


Caiman House note

Caiman House tags the endangered black caiman to better understand its ecological role, importance to the local communities and generate eco-tourism. They are included in lots of our Guyana tours.

Contact us for more.


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