Amazon:Dolphin, Anaconda & Caiman as food.

One afternoon a local fisherman brought a baby Bottle-nosed Dolphin to show me, then he placed it in the bottom of his canoe. I asked him to let it go and he promised he would, but dolphin meat is good to eat, I hear, and to use for fishing bait, so sadly I doubt he did.
I had to put aside my own expectations when faced with the behaviour of the locals. To them dolphins are big fish. Food which will feed their families for a few days, not the beautiful, intelligent animals with protected rights that I saw.
On my return to the lodge earlier in my trip I was asked did I want the good news or the bad. “Good,” I said hopefully. There had been seen the previous month: three Jaguars in the forest, a male, and a mother and her cub, and three Giant Otters had been seen in the waterfall area, I was told.
Overjoyed, and with my nascent Portuguese missing the past tense, I now asked tentatively for the bad news. The large, male Jaguar had been shot dead by a group of local men from a neighbouring forest several miles away. The big cat had taken a pet dog and some domesticated pigs, so had been hunted down by a band of local men and dispatched with a bullet. And the three otters had also been killed, why was not explained to me.
My first response was anger, but then after a few hours of thought I realised why they had done this, even though it hurt to recognise it. They had bought the piglets in town, with limited funds, fed them and nurtured them into plump adulthood and the big cat had made off with their investment and the families dinner, not to mention the family pet.
As for the otters, I could get no explanation for their deaths. I don’t think they are eaten, but maybe they are competition for dwindling fish-stocks in the dry season and I hear their pelts can be sold for a good price.
I learnt in the Rainforest that putting myself in another’s shoes hurts. Western values don’t fit well, or at all, into some cultures. Animals that we value, such as Turtles, Tortoise and Dolphins, or that we find zoologically interesting, ie Caiman and Anaconda, are simply food to my forest neighbours.



2 thoughts on “Amazon:Dolphin, Anaconda & Caiman as food.

  1. Thank For The Information I My Self Own Gator’s And Caiman’s Seeing Then Different There Especial That True People Live Those Country Most Animals Live Next To Then And Things Are Different . Thank Albany , N.Y.

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