The Seattle Times

Felipe Dana / AP
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Welcome to Rio — and its thousands of caimans

Ecology professor Ricardo Freitas catches a broad-snouted caiman to examine, then release back into the water channel in the affluent Recreio dos Bandeirantes suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Caimans are like tanks, a very old species with a remarkable capacity for renovation that allows them to survive under extreme conditions where others couldn’t,” said Freitas, who runs the Instituto Jacare, or the Caiman Institute, which aims to protect the reptiles.