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Japan Environment Quarterly (JEQ)
Volume 7 | September 2014

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Voice of MOE Family in the World

Reservoir of Wildlife: Swimming with Piranhas



Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Brazil, Political Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

A beautiful Jaguar I came across in Pantanal

A key player in multilateral negotiations, Brazil is known not only as the host of the 1992 Earth Summit and Rio+20 (2012), but also for the Amazon rainforest, or "Lungs of the planet." The nation boasts a wealth of biodiversity; aside from the Amazon, Brazil's many biomes include Cerrado, Mata Atlantica, Caatinga and Pantanal. My personal favorite is the Pantanal Wetland, where predators like jaguars and alligators join the myriad birds at the banks of the scarce water that remain in the dry season. Apparently, it is also possible for humans to swim in the water. Anxious, I asked, "Aren't there piranhas in the water?" In response, the local guide handed me a piece of white cloth, adding that I would be fine as long as I covered any wounds with it. Bracing myself, I ventured a swim. I may have been imagining being constantly pecked at by something. Dynamic and spiced with danger, the vast nature of Brazil never ceases to allure me.

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