As it turns out, you really don’t want to mess with an otter.
Incredible footage of a jaguar sneaking up on a lounging otter was posted on reddit recently, and we’ve got to say we’re pretty impressed: the giant otter busted out a series of moves that would impress any kung fu master.
Thinking the lone unsuspecting otter would be an easy meal, the jaguar snuck up on the animal and attempted a swift bite to the neck. Unfortunately for the big cat, the tenacious otter reacted quickly and was able to roll onto its back, furiously kicking and biting its attacker.
After a speedy battle, and with rest of the otter family emerging from the water to help, the jaguar begrudgingly lets the otter go.
Not today, jaguar. Not today.
Giant otters are inquisitive and social, and live in tight-knit family groups led by a dominant breeding pair. While conflict is generally avoided and peace is kept within groups, otters are known to be very aggressive to any animal that poses a threat to their safety. Can’t really blame ’em.
Giant otters are the longest mustelids, with adults reaching over 5 feet in length. They’re highly adapted to an aquatic lifestyle, with dense fur, webbed feet, and a muscular, wing-like tail. They’re found in freshwater rivers and streams in South America, and feast on fish, turtles, snakes, and small caimans. They’re extremely noisy, and will vocalize in a variety of ways — screams, growls, hums, and coos are common.
Unfortunately, you guessed it: these guys are endangered. At one point, only 12 individuals remained. The population is now estimated to be somewhere between 1,000 and 4,000 but is thought to be steadily declining. They face a variety of threats, including poaching for their pelts. Because of their highly curious nature, they’re unfortunately very easy to hunt. They also face habitat destruction and degradation, high mercury content in their diet of fish, pesticides, and conflict with fishermen.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a jaguar encounter a clan of otters. Watch another incredible sighting below.
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