One of the surprising facts I learned this month is that Brazil is about the size of our lower 48 states. Its 207 million people live primarily in the coastal lowland areas. The Pantanal is a huge wetlands in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. It is the largest fresh water wetlands in the world and is the home to hundreds of bird species and many exotic animals. The toco toucan is one of its most colorful inhabitants.
The tapir is a rare sight indeed as it swims in a river early morning. Their snout is somewhat like an elephant's trunk but it is the upper lip and nose of the animal.
Giant otters can be between 5'-6' in length. They are as playful as the smaller river otters seen in the U.S. Fish are their main diet.
Ocelots are creatures of the night and thus are seldom seen. They are close in size to the bobcat but are leaner and longer.
The queen of the Brazilian Pantanal is the jaguar. Similar to but more muscular and larger than a leopard, these beautiful cats hunt along the river banks for capybara and caiman to pounce on.