Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Adventure in Ecuador

I just returned from 23 days of traveling through Ecuador with a friend. First we visited the cloud forest and then we traveled to the Amazon basin. Now I'm back with thousands of photos that need to be edited and sorted. It is challenging to work in the Amazon because the primary forest has very low light during the day and many creatures are nocturnal. One night we went out on a night walk to search for frogs and were walking back to the station when I spotted a huge snake. I quickly shined the headlamp on it and discovered that it was a six-foot rainbow boa. The snake slithered into a pile of rocks nearby.

There is a herpetologist studying snakes at the research station we were visiting and he was able to catch the snake. He held it over night in order to take blood samples and measurements. In the morning he let us photograph the boa when he released it back into the wild. I took this shot of the boa in a controlled situation with Shawn, the herpetologist, holding onto its tail as we let the snake go. It was a beautiful animal and it is called a rainbow boa because of its iridescent scales. An exciting find! I'll post more images and stories from the trip in the next few days.

- Gabby

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