By far the most numerous animal I have seen in the Pantanal is the Caiman. They are everywhere! It is believed that in the Pantanal one can find the highest concentration of crocodilians anywhere else in the world. The population is estimated at being around 10 million individuals. This is quite remarkable considering that crocodiles had been over-hunted in this region for many years and now, after new laws have been put in place to protect them, their numbers have bounced back with a vengeance.
This is a baby Yacare Caiman – I think the babies of this species look especially cute. Even the adults have quite endearing faces. I was drawn to this particular baby due to its unusual head adornment – a leaf as a hat. One doesn’t see the babies too often as they are usually in hiding. Despite the fact that when they grow up they will be one of the Pantanal’s top predators they are quite vulnerable to other predators when they are young, thus they are much shyer than their adult counterparts.
Tech Specs: Canon 7D Mark II | Canon EF 200-400 IS with 1.4 Extender @200mm | f5.6 | 1/640s | ISO 1000