Thousands of caimans thrive in Rio's urban sprawl

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Brazil Rio Caimans
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Brazil Rio Caimans
In this Oct. 14, 2013 photo, ecology professor Ricardo Freitas catches a broad-snouted caiman to examine, then release back into the water channel in the affluent Recreio dos Bandeirantes suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Caimans are like tanks, a very old species with a remarkable capacity for renovation that allows them to survive under extreme conditions where others couldn’t,” said Freitas, who runs the Instituto Jacare, or the Caiman Institute, which aims to protect the reptiles. “But the fact of the matter is that their days are numbered if things don’t change drastically.” (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)