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Choco, my lead guide for the shoot, hoists a caiman over his head along the banks of the Río Tuichi. Choco has spent most of his life in the rain forest, and catching the occasional caiman is just good clean fun to him. After I photographed the six-foot-long (1.8-meter-long) reptile, Choco let it go unharmed.

One night he spotted an 11-footer (a 3.4-meter caiman) and asked me if I wanted him to swim out and catch it. I declined, but I knew he probably could have pulled it off. This was a man made of steel.

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Photograph by Joel Sartore



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