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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Wildlife Of Bonito

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A wildlife-filled paradiseThe region surrounding Bonito, a small town situated south of the Pantanal wetland in the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, is a wildlife-filled paradise of turquoise rivers and lakes, forested hills and massive subterranean caverns. Here, a red-green macaw takes flight over the Buraco das Araras, a giant doline (sinkhole) located 50km from Bonito. Flocks of these beautifully plumaged birds regularly fly in and around the doline at dawn and dusk. 


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Residents of the dense canopyMaintaining the right balance between a burgeoning tourism business and the conservation of natural resources is the key to Bonito's success. Until the town opened itself to greener pursuits, the main industry was raising cattle, and most of the local attractions are still located on working farms. Here, a capuchin monkey feeds in the dense canopy above Estancia Mimosa, a farm turned eco-tourism resort, located 24km from Bonito. 


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Scenic trails
Surrounding Estancia Mimosa, a network of sun-dappled trails and wooden walkways lead to waterfalls along the Rio Mimoso.




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Orange-billed visitors
A toucan takes flight at the Estancia Mimosa.


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An afternoon stroll
A giant anteater walks the grounds of Fazenda Rio da Prata, a well-maintained farm about 60km south of Bonito that offers horseback riding, scuba diving and bird watching.

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A wetsuited procession
Visitors to Fazenda Rio da Prata can snorkel down the Rio Olha d'Agua, which offers stunning views of the river's submarine environment and myriad fish species, including triangular blue pacu, iridescent, fiery-finned pirupatanga and streamlined yellow dorado. (Daniel Allen)

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