Here’s the million dollar question…giant otters love catching and eating piranha – but how do they do that without being attacked themselves ? Giant otters are one of the toughest creatures in the Amazon jungle. Not only are they living in a lake in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon, but they are also surrounded by three hundred black caiman, anaconda, jaguar and puma.
Lake Sandoval is a lake in Peru, close to the city of Puerto Maldonado, part of the Madre de Dios in the Amazon basin. There is a touristic hike from the river Madre de Dios to the lake. On the way if you’re lucky, you might see parrots, macaws and some other species from the rain forest. The lake is also known for having black caimans and giant otters and of course…piranhas.
Giant Otter Fun Facts:
- The largest of the Mustelidae family: This family of mammals includes Weasels, River Otters, Martins, and Ferrets. While most Mustelids are small, the Giant Otter reaches a length of five feet (over one and a half meters)!
- Only 5,000 left in the wild: This may sound like a lot to some people. But these animals stretch across an area similar in size to the continental United States, making them extremely rare! There used to be many more Giant Otters, but pelt-hunting, deforestation, and human disturbance have greatly endangered them.
- Expert fishers: Giant Otters feast on several species of Amazonian catfish and Characins. In fact, they eat around three kilograms of their body weight every single day!
- Social animals: Giant Otters live in extended family groups that can number from three to even twenty individuals. These family-loving animals spend most of their time together.
- Distinctive throat patch: Each Giant Otter is born with uniquely shaped and patterned patches of cream-colored fur on the throat. These beautiful markings can identify each individual animal.
- Vocal animals: Giant Otters make a variety of curious sounds that have different meanings. A short bark or snorting sound can be used to indicate alarm, whereas a low growl is a warning.
H/T – perunature.com