Chiapas Nightlife

27th Mar 2017

Tapir © Ian Green

Our first night boat trip along the Sendero River in the Montes Azul National park in Chiapas was successful with two Kinkajous spotted and great views of Paraques, Crocodiles, Pottos and the impressive Greater Fishing Bat, but the second night trip proved to be so much better.

We didn’t see the Kinkajous this time, however a Tayra was much enjoyed and we saw both Virginia Opossum and the lovely little Gray Four-eyed Opossum. However it was as we were nearing the end of the tributary and nearly back to the main river that the highlight of the night came. A very large animal on the sand bank to our right. One didn’t need binoculars to see that it was a Tapir! Our boatman turned the engine off and we glided on to the sand bar. Some of us hopped out and walked towards the Tapir keeping it in the light. As we walked towards it, it walked towards us. And a rather nervous group of us suddenly found ourselves then metres away from an animal that was larger than we imagined! When it walked towards again we backed off a bit, but the Tapir was totally calm and just kept tasting the air with its prehensile nostrils seeing uncertain what was in front of it. We all compromised on about 7m and stood there and photographed it for ten minutes before the animal quietly turned and wandered off in the opposite direction.