A fantastic journey

1858 • • • 2012 • • • 2018

As every year for the past 20 years, in September 2012 we were counting giant otters in Peru. Our mission that year was to find out why we saw less and less giant otters in the Los Amigos river outside Manu National Park each year. After two weeks of observing and searching in vain we returned to the office. We had seen zero otters and didn’t know why.

We analysed some new info as well as older data and pictures to solve this mystery. What we found was nothing short of a sensation: Diablo II, a giant otter which we had photographed as a juvenile otter in Los Amigos was found in another photo taken several years later in  Manu National Park’s Lake Sandoval! Until then we knew that giant otters travel up to 80 kilometres, but right before our eyes we had proof that Diablo II had travelled an astounding 290 kilometres! The distinctive white patches on his throat identified him without a doubt. His is the longest journey ever documented for a giant otter!

Rob Williams worked as Head of our Peru Programme for many years. In Peru we have been active in protecting biodiversity for almost 30 years.