The giant river otter has almost become the symbol of Peru’s wildlife. The once highly endangered species has been able to thrive in Madre de Dios because of the strict laws protecting it. They inhabit several of the oxbow lakes in southwestern Peru, such as Lago Sandoval, and live in groups of 4-8 otters, however as many as 20 have been observed together. They are lively hunters and eat up to 4 kg of fish each day. From June to November, when the young are born, they are more difficult to spot. If you see one or a group of them, at any time of the year, consider yourself lucky.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.