Friday, July 08, 2011


Every other day or so, Rico and I have been going running along the beach near my mother-in-law's house here in Recreio neighborhood. To get to the beach, we have to cross a small wooden footbridge over a drainage canal. The canal runs through a residential neighborhood and is surrounded by paved streets and apartment buildings on either side. There is a narrow swath of forested area along the margins.

Imagine my surprise when we spotted a fat caiman (a type of alligator commonly known as a jacaré) lounging in the water as we walked along the creaky bridge just a few feet above the canal's surface! Upon closer inspection, it wasn't just one lone caiman; there were eight, a whole group of scaly beasts ranging in size from just over a foot long to well over five feet with a belly the girth of a whisky barrel.

Apparently these urban alligators are quite common and residents don't even look twice they are so used to them hanging out in the canal.

I did some googling and found out the exact species:


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