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01:58

Brazil: Farm offers shelter to caimans escaping Pantanal wildfires

Brazil, Corumba
November 06, 2019 at 18:21 GMT +00:00 · Published

A farmer in the central-western city of Corumba has taken in hundreds of caimans trying to escape from the wildfires in the Pantanal region, as shown on footage from Wednesday.

Several caimans were seen huddling up in the farm with their mouths covered by tape, while less fortunate brethren were found in the vegetation nearby. According to biologist Bianca Courbassier, the animals search for humidity and water when escaping the fires and several end up dying en route.

"We have been rescuing the ones we can and this one is one of those we couldn't rescue, because it was too debilitated and ended up dying. It came this way searching for humidity, searching for the temperature of the water nearby by crossing this fence, but it couldn't do it and died," she explained.

Data from the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) show that fires in Pantanal biome increased from 1,696 sq/km (654 sq/m) in September and October 2018 to 10,389 (4,011 sq/m) for the same period of 2019.

According to reports, the fire that hit Pantanal in recent weeks has already destroyed an area the size of Rio de Janeiro.

The fires in the Pantanal, which has seen its worst blazes since 2007, come after thousands of wildfires ravaged the Amazon rainforest earlier in the year, provoking an international outcry at the Brazilian government's environmental policies.

01:58
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Description

A farmer in the central-western city of Corumba has taken in hundreds of caimans trying to escape from the wildfires in the Pantanal region, as shown on footage from Wednesday.

Several caimans were seen huddling up in the farm with their mouths covered by tape, while less fortunate brethren were found in the vegetation nearby. According to biologist Bianca Courbassier, the animals search for humidity and water when escaping the fires and several end up dying en route.

"We have been rescuing the ones we can and this one is one of those we couldn't rescue, because it was too debilitated and ended up dying. It came this way searching for humidity, searching for the temperature of the water nearby by crossing this fence, but it couldn't do it and died," she explained.

Data from the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) show that fires in Pantanal biome increased from 1,696 sq/km (654 sq/m) in September and October 2018 to 10,389 (4,011 sq/m) for the same period of 2019.

According to reports, the fire that hit Pantanal in recent weeks has already destroyed an area the size of Rio de Janeiro.

The fires in the Pantanal, which has seen its worst blazes since 2007, come after thousands of wildfires ravaged the Amazon rainforest earlier in the year, provoking an international outcry at the Brazilian government's environmental policies.

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