The Animals of Rio

I’ve not had a lot of chance to write about my experiences in Rio yet, but one thing I have been doing while I’ve been here is discovering the different wild life in and around the city. So here’s some of the animals of Rio I’ve seen so far.

Capybaras

This last weekend, I’ve been in Recreio dos Bandeirantes, which is a little further along the coast from the centre of Rio, and despite being only about 15 miles from Ipanema, it feels considerably cooler. It’s also a far more suburban area of the city, and fairly close to the beach, which is far quieter than the more famous beaches. After a morning swim in the strong waves of the beach, we headed back to the apartment we were staying in and as we crossed a bridge over the river, we saw a group of capybaras cooling themselves in the water.

A little further up the river, lurked an alligator.

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Marmosets

Last week, I ventured up to visit Cristo Redentor (Christ The Redeemer) on the top of the Corcovado mountain and over looks most of the city, with views of Copacabana, Ipanema and Central Rio. At the top of the mountain, though, you’ll find groups of fairly tame marmosets, happy to take food off passing tourists, despite signs asking not to feed them.

We also caught this little bird while we were up there.

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Menelaus Blue Morpho butterfly

This is one of the two creatures I met on the first weekend in Rio, when I was taken up to have lunch in the Tijuca forest, the largest urban rainforest in the world. Coming from the UK, these butterflies were extraordinarily large, and beautiful, with bright blue wings on the top, with brown wings underneath. Taking a picture of the blue wings turned out to be harder than I’d imagined, as it only opened its wings for a second at a time.

South American coati

The other animal I was introduced to in Tijuca forest was the South American coati, which is related to the racoon family. We were approached by a group of around six to eight of the creatures while we were eating our lunch, and seemed very used to human presence.

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