Yacare Caiman

You are here

Animal File

Common Name:
Yacare Caiman
Scientific Name:
Caiman yacare
Size: 45 cm
Weight: 100 - 500 kg
Reptiles
Carnivores
Native to South America
Rivers and Lakes

Conservation Status

Least concern

“Caiman” is the Spanish word for alligator and “Yacare” is the Portuguese word for ... alligator, too! These scaly relatives of the crocodile live in the swamps of central South America and numbers in Brazil are steadily increasing. They used to be hunted ruthlessly for leather, but the Government cracked down heavily on poaching and put a ban on the sale of crocodilian products in 2002.  Nowadays, due to their fairly small size, their main threats are jaguars and anaconda.

Although adult caiman can reach around 3 metres in length, they are not capable of eating humans. They do, however, enjoy eating piranha fish which has led to them being nick-named “piranha caiman”.  They also eat insects, snails, snakes and capybara. In the Zoo they are fed on rats and freshwater fish.

Caiman construct large mound nests for laying their eggs in the rainy season. Around 20 – 30 eggs are laid and the females guard the nests from predators. 

Book an interaction with an animal in Blackpool Zoo

Talk Times

Buy online & save

More ticket types

Children under three are free!

Meal Deal