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The Crab Eating Racoon surprise

On a hot mid-March morning we recieved the most unusual visit of a Crab eating racoon, right on our terrace. Even though, they're nocturnal solitary animals, it didn't seem to be incomodated by our closeness.
The Procryon carnivorus is being easily encountered in marshy areas like Pantanal from Costa Rica all the way down to north Argentina and Uruguay.


Their diet consists of fruits, shellfish, fish, crabs, aquatic insects, frogs, etc.
The breeding time is from July to September. Females give birth to 2-6 cubs after an estimated gestation period of 80-140 days, usually inside a hollow tree den. the young ones become independent after about 8 months.


Head and body length is 41 to 80 cm (16 to 31 in), tail length is 20 to 56 cm (8 to 22 in) and height at the shoulder is about
23 cm (9 in). Weights can range from 2 to 12 kg (4 to 26 lb), though are mostly between 5 and 7 kg (11 and 15 lb). Males are usually larger than the females.
The fur is short with brown/grey bushy tail with alterating pale and dark rings. Ears are short and rounded and they have good hearing capabilities. Small eyes provide despite the colour blindness an excellent night vision. Around the eyes they have black patches, wich gives them appearance of wearing a 'bandit's mask'.

Their life span is up to 14 years.


The Rheas and the summer in the Pantanal

        Summer in the Pantanal  is characterized by the splendor of its vegetation, flowering shrubs various kinds of fruit, mild weather mirrors of plain water reflecting the clouds roaming the sky, everything so beautiful...  Its a pity people don't visit a lot during this period.


In these photos: a male ema - "rhea americana" - with his brood of 9 chicks, the remaining of the 31 born last year, enjoying the stillness of Araras Eco Lodge, the guavas, the tarumas and the siriguelas fruit abounding in the wet season.


As we know, in this specific society, a strong male can have 5 up to 7 females, all laying their eggs in the same nest. He hatches them while the females watch from a distance, drawing attention to themselves if any predator approaches the nest. After hatching, the male keeps the task of raising the chicks.

Oops! What if it becomes trendy?


Harpy eagle at Araras Eco Lodge

Have a look, what an incredible present we recived at the beginning of 2013.

We were observing a young Harpy eagle, everybody's birdwatching dream, from 14.00 till 18.30, on the 1st of January on the Ype trees in front of Araras Eco Lodge, 33km on the Transpantaneira road, municipality of Pocone.


The bird comported itself as a super predator, looking for the pray in the dry field in front of the lodge and didn't seem at all incommodated with us. It was interesting to observe the attacks of Kiskadees and Field sparrows, beaking it on its back, leading it changed the tree 3 times, giving us a spectacular possibility to appreciate and photograph it's impressive wings...

Our local field monitor Paulinho reported, he saw it already couple of weeks ago, around 16th December. We were rather incredulous to the story, but now we know for the fact.

The photos were taken by our guest, the architect Eduardo Penna from Rio de Janeiro, who was celebrating New Years' with his family and us.

In 2009 there was the first registering of Harpy eagle in Pantanal region. The couple made a nest in the Barao municipality, reserve of SESC, some 80-90 km SE straight line from us. Also is well known, there's a couple nesting in Serra das Araras, at Currupira Lodge in Jaguanda municipality, some 100 km NE from our lodge.

Possibly this young one comes from one of theese nests. We'll keep monitoring to see, if it's gonna stay in the area. In any case it's a good sign of healthy environment of our reserve and Pantanal in the whole.


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Haras Bafo da Onça - Cavalo Pantaneiro
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