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An endless array of unique fauna in Colombia

Besides millions of geckos and mosquitoes there are so many other interesting species to admire. The national bird of Colombia, the Andean Condor, I saw flying over Lake Tota in the region of Sugamuxi. These birds have the largest wingspan of any land bird on earth (3.2m or 10.5ft), really impressive. A ‘Bozo de leche’ monkey in Mocoa (southern Colombia) came very close in my direction, looking for food. A mother Humpback Whale*

jumped out of the water in the Pacific Ocean in July just in front of my boat (close to Nuquí). Ha-ha, I was so surprised about the incredible power and size of this the world´s biggest mammal; however I only managed to capture its tale in the picture! According to research, between 10 and 15% of whale births in the southeastern Pacific Ocean take place in Málaga Bay, not far from Buenaventura. I saw the pink Amazon River dolphins carefully taking a look at the surface. Normal grey dolphins were passing by on the Caribbean Coast close to Tolu. During my hikes in the tropical jungle I saw several very beautiful and colourful frogs, called the poison dart frogs. Really practical that the beautiful bright colors stood out as these small animals are also toxic.

They were called ‘dart frogs’ because their poison is used by the indigenous people on the tips of their blow darts. But: of the 175 species there are only 3 species that are dangerous to humans. Keep on the alert! Recently the golden frog was nominated, by international conservation groups, as the wonder of the world. I came across them on my trip to Capurgana, Sapzurro and the Botanical Garden near Mecana in Bahía Solano. I spotted a mini scorpion perched on a tree during a night walk in  the Amazon jungle. Several dozen species of the scorpions are also dangerous to humans. I allowed a tarantula to walk on my hand because the guide convinced me that it was not dangerous. Generally, most tarantulas aren’t risky for humans and are not even aggressive. They just look really intimidating due to their size and hairy body. I met some normal house cats in a hostel in the Sierra Nevada, taking a break in their very own cat-sized hammocks!  Allow me to explain, my cat at home has this splendid way of lounging around normally in the most step-on-able places; So I invested in one of these marvelous contraptions and even showed it many times how this wonderful device works but nope … he definitely didn’t like the flying… maybe also because his hammock was a little small for his fat ass!

Sharks, I luckily I haven´t seen any so far, but if your idea of fun is to go diving between ha

mmerhead sharks in Colombia then you need to go south-westwards. In the waters around the island of Malpelo, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and one of the best diving spots in the world, there are many around. Unusually for sharks is that this particular species usually swims in a school together. Near the Gorgona Island, slightly further out to sea, from what used to be a prison, you'll also find whale-sharks. I admired many hummingbirds in the coffee growing region ...

Did you know? The smallest hummingbird weighs approximately 2 grams. That is as much as a small pencil! Did you also know that the hummingbird sometimes is called ‘the helicopter of the birds’? That's because they can hover perfectly still while flying. The hummingbird can even fly straight up or down and flap their wings 12–80 times per second!

The Amazon rainforest is packed with animals. There are about 2.5 million different species of insects alone. It is one of the largest gatherings of living creatures in the world. According to some scientists: Up to fifty percent of all land animals in the world, come from the Amazon. The Amazon is spread across 9 countries in South America (Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Suriname, French Guyana, Bolivia, Brazil and Guyana). Remember that there are piranhas swimming in the Amazon. Only in the dry season, when food is scarce and the water annoyingly low it becomes cloudy, piranhas particularly are quickly agitated and aggressive. In that period they eat indeed everything their teeth come into contact with so it’s a case of wearing chain male swimwear! 

The most beautiful but also biggest butterflies I saw in the Tayrona National Park near Santa Marta. And the funniest animal was the Koati or Kusumbo in Leticia. In Guasca, close to Bogotá, I met some cute adorable female birds. These ‘Forpus conspicillatus’ parrots lives mainly in tropical and subtropical zones in Colombia but they went off track and ended up staying with a family who was taking care of them. Speaking of true love: They are monogamous animals and will never choose another partner and even remain widowers for the rest of their lives when their partner dies.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and largest country in Latin America, Colombia is the 26th largest country in the world. In terms of number of reported mammalian, Colombia has almost as many as Brazil, however the country has even more species of birds to offer (178 more than Brazil), Colombia has the largest number of amphibians in the world with 208 endangered species and has the largest number of species not found anywhere else (endemism). In conclusion, I would only like to say that Colombia, despite being 7 times smaller when compared to Brazil, can only be deemed exceedingly interesting for animal lovers like yourself!

After 1 year of traveling throughout Colombia, I must admit that this statement: "The Fauna of Colombia is characterized by a high biodiversity, with the highest rate of species by area unit worldwide" is certainly not bullshit! 

*Humpback Whale: Spot them in Colombia between July and October every year.