News & Features

When You Least Expect It!

By Paul Rosolie

There are things in nature that we just don’t understand. I read the account of a conservationist in Africa who wanted to relocate a rhino. They had seen the rhino every day for a month, but on the day they went out with the tranquilizer gun, the rhino was gone. I’ve had this same experience many times with other species. When I go out looking for anacondas, or snakes in general, it is often hours and hours before I find one. Sometimes it takes weeks. But then when you are doing something unrelated, when you least expect it, it seems things pop up all the time.

One day I was walking following a herd of peccary with my wife and a friend. We were exploring a new area of jungle and were finding incredible trees, signs of various species, and having a great time. Anacondas were not even a thought. The pig tracks led me to a stream where I stopped to take in the beauty of the area. There was also a stunning butterfly on the sand. I took out my camera to snap a photo – and that’s when I hear the popping noise.

Suddenly my eyes focused on a fifteen-foot snake wrapped around a wild boar. The anaconda and the wild boar it had just killed were only a few feet away from me. And I hadn’t even seen them! I had been distracted by the butterfly. Predation events are extremely rare, especially witnessing something of anaconda/boar magnitude. And I know I’ll never see anything like this again.  And so I treasure the memory, and the photo, and remember that little known law of the jungle that sometimes the most amazing things happen when you simply stop looking.