27 April, 2007

When the Hunter (almost)
Becomes the Hunted

.If she did this to a poor bird just a few minutes afterwards,
what would have happened to me if she hadn't missed the strike?!
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2007

Do you remember one of last month’s post, where I talked about a mother caiman that I was trying to photograph? Well, today this stubborn photographer decided to take his chances again and go after the young caimans, this time “a bit closer”, to get details from one of them alone. But now, maybe due to the cold and rainy weather that is ruining my shooting days, the lady shown in the picture above was not nearly as tolerating as before… and decided to strike against me when I was lying by her swamp, about 2 feet away from the baby. But, c’mon you crocodilian dude, I’m the one who should be in a bad mood because of the lousy weather!

Luckily the years of experiences in the Pantanal taught me that I must always beware of these animals, so that nothing bad happened (except for the inevitable adrenalin discharge). So today the “image hunter” almost became the prey. Too bad that I didn’t have my camera pointed at her – I’m sure that those sharp teeth sticking out from a huge mouth coming towards my head would make some real cool shots.

An anaconda squishes a whistling-duck in Bonito (Brazil) –
scenes like this require a lot of patience, persistence,
knowledge and a great deal of luck for the photographer
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2005

One of FotogramBits’ frequent reader has just written me to comment that the current text seemed to contribute for increasing the fears that many people have regarding such animals. I agreed with her, and therefore found it important to mention that caimans, as well as other creatures stigmatized as ferocious beasts – anacondas, jaguars, bats, sharks – solely play their role in nature. No animal will attack humans just for fun, they do it upon feeling threatened or in rare cases of ecological changes caused by ourselves.

The caiman tried to scare me away because at that moment I was representing a lethal threat for its young. It’s always good to keep in mind that we must be ethical and respectful with our photo subjects at all times – and this is an issue for an upcoming post.


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