Man Defends Himself With Snapping Caiman in Brazilian Beach Fight

by Jennifer Shea

A man in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil chose an unusual weapon in a beach battle with a rival. He picked up a tiny alligator, also known as a caiman, and shoved it in his opponent’s face.

Fortunately, a Macumba Beach lifeguard intervened, stopping the fight before the fighters – or the caiman – were hurt, the Daily Mail reports.

The reptile then managed to squirm out of the man’s grasp and run loose on the beach. Firefighters later found it and released it in the city’s municipal park.

Caimans Are Related to Alligators

Caimans are amphibious carnivores that live along bodies of water. They are native to Central and South America, and they range in size from relatively small (the dwarf caiman or the smooth-fronted caiman) to 15 feet long (the black caiman), per Britannica.

The black caiman is the most dangerous subspecies. Its yellow-striped and spotted hide is much sought-after by skin merchants, according to Sea World.

Luckily for both fighters on the beach that day, they were not dealing with a black caiman. But even the smaller caimans can leave a mark if they bite. When young, caimans prey on crustaceans, insects, small fish, amphibians, small mammals and birds. Once they reach adulthood, they eat fish, birds, other reptiles, amphibians and larger mammals.

Bolivian River Guide Befriends Caiman

Meanwhile, in the Amazon, a Bolivian river guide has made friends with a caiman, perhaps hoping it will do him a favor and take out his enemies.

Alejandro Gil has gotten chummy with a creature who certainly looks hefty enough to be a black caiman (although that hasn’t been confirmed). He has nicknamed the animal Jesus.

Watch a video of Gil bravely tugging at the caiman’s tail here. It’s a dangerous pastime, but apparently, Gil feels confident enough in their friendship to keep feeding and patting Jesus at close range.

Now the question is: would Jesus go after someone who tried to tangle with Gil in front of him? People in the area, wisely, aren’t trying to find out.