Otter family kills caiman

I wouldn’t have believed that a family of otters could kill a large caiman, but that’s exactly what these river otters do in this video produced by BBC Earth.

It took an hour for the adults to do in the caiman, but they needed to protect their cubs. Sadly, two of the youngsters didn’t survive.

This four-minute video shows nature at its reddest in tooth and claw, so if you don’t like this kind of thing, skip the video.  You have to admit, though, that those otters are gutsy.


  1. yazikus
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    They are fearsome creatures, and I can’t say I’m entirely surprised they succeeded in their defense. Our pond has been crashed by otter (families? pods? herds?) before. You may remember our Aesthetically Challenged Muscovy Duck ™, he fled for the duration and only returned after they cleaned out the pond and moved on.

  2. Jenny Haniver
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Searching for some explanatory information, I came across this article and series of stills from National Geographic, of a single otter in Florida taking down an alligator for lunch This won’t prevent me from enjoying their playfulness, but they are members of the weasel family.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the link that, moreover, offers a very interesting explication of how “learned behavior”) enables an otter to kill a so much bigger animal with a tough armor.

  3. Posted August 3, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    When I saw this yesterday, my thought was that the video’s title should have been:

    “Otter family kills murdering caiman”

  4. bob Murray
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    These aren’t your average Otter. I am guessing they are Giant Otters. I believe they are known in South America as “Los Lobos Del Rio”, Pteronura brasiliensis. Tarka, this is not.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      But take a look at the article and photos I linked to in my comment above. This took place in Florida, no giant otters there,the otter in question is identified as a river otter — and it’s acting alone, and it goes for the back of the neck for the kill, like a jaguar taking down a caiman. Too bad there are just stills and no video; nonetheless, I’m blown away.

      • bob Murray
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:27 am | Permalink

        Jenny, I am sorry but I don’t understand your comment. I was referring to the BBC video in the post. W. Benson states below that he also thinks they are Giant Otters.
        Otters are Mustelids like Ferrets, Stoats, Weasels etc and I think they attack the back of the neck too.

  5. W.Benson
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    The Giant Otters of the Amazon weigh about 55 pounds (25kg) each and travel in groups of 5-20 individuals. They are very aggressive. You do not mess with them.

  6. Marcello S. Nicola
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    In 1977 a man was killed by giant otters (Ariranhas) in the Brasilia Zoo when he entered their tank to save a boy –

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:27 am | Permalink

      I found the vocalizations of the otters eerie. For more on this theme, read Dance of the Dwarfs by Geoffrey Household.

  7. Posted August 5, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Otterly amazing.

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