Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is located within the Cerrado Biome – the second largest in the country. The flora and fauna of the region are spectacular, and we have been interested in learning more about the native species since we first began building here. The cerrado is reported to be home to nearly 70 species of mammals, over 800 species of birds, and about 120 species of reptiles.
One of our caregivers, Gabi, installed two new wildlife cameras a few weeks ago, so that we can keep an eye on the wild animal life in sanctuary and potentially catch a glimpse of animals we’ve suspected of living nearby, yet never seen. It is important for us to know what animals may be visiting the property when we aren’t around, but we are also curious about all of our non-human neighbors.
The land here had been privately owned and was utilized for cattle farming for many years before our arrival, but the surrounding area is also home to the native species who have lived in the area for lifetimes. Because the space was a cattle farm before the sanctuary was established, we initially had infrequent wildlife sightings. Once the land began to return to a more natural state, we have noticed a significant increase in wildlife returning to the area – beginning with the native birds, followed by other mammals.
We know there are monkeys, anteaters, foxes, and dozens of kinds of birds around each day. Recently we captured some nighttime video of tapirs – which is no surprise – and we’ve now filmed a fox and an ocelot as well. We noticed ocelot tracks nearby beginning a few years ago, but have never actually seen one. It was incredibly exciting to capture one on camera because they are absolutely gorgeous, but also very elusive.
Ocelots are small, so they don’t pose a threat to the elephants, but we do keep a close eye on the chickens and other small animals near the house, just in case. With any luck, we will have more wildlife videos to share in the future.