Bushmaster Dilemma

Although we are trying to preserve the biodiversity of the Amazon, we must recognize that the people working on the farm must preserve themselves. One of the dangers that biodiversity presents is the Bushmaster or Sushupe, as it is known in the Peruvian Amazon.

This viper is one of the largest and deadliest snakes in South America. Larger specimens can reach lengths of up to 10ft, with the largest on record measuring in at 12ft. They are capable of multiple strikes and inject large amounts of venom. Needless to say, one should watch their step for these guys.

One of the most fascinating and frightening characteristic of the Bushmaster is that it can be aggressive and could come after you. Females are territorial and could strike anyone encroaching on their territory. Nights are particularly risky because Bushmasters are provoked by lights (e.g flashlights) and have been known to charge people walking around at night with lights.

The Bushmaster pictured here in these photos was spotted by one of our partner farmers who killed it to protect himself. When we first found out about the death of the Bushmaster, we were upset that such a magnificent animal had been killed, but if our children played in this area, we would have done the same thing. While we model our company strictly after agro-ecological standards, there are times such as this when protection takes precedence. In the future we would like to develop the capability of capturing and removing such animals in a non-lethal way.

It’s just another reminder to stay on your toes out there in the Amazon…

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