Epicrates cenchria Western Rainbow Boa
Also known as:
Rainbow Boa, Brazilian Rainbow Boa
Santa Cruz Forest Reserve, Loreto, PeruJanuary 30, 2022
Western Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria) Western Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria)
Before this night, rainbow boas were my Amazonian nemesis animal. On each of my previous three trips to the Peruvian Amazon, at least one person in our group had seen at least one rainbow boa, but I was never with any of those people, so I had yet to see one still in the wild. Then, on this trip, a big one showed up on the first night right outside Marisa Ai Ishimatsu's hut. Then over the next several days, six more rainbow boas were found by six other people. On one of those nights, I had just passed Tom Williams on a trail when he saw one. He shouted back to me, but I was now out of earshot. So he kindly ran back in my direction and continued to shout until I heard him and followed him to where he had seen the snake. But it was too late -- it had vanished into the forest.

Finally, on our penultimate night in the forest, I was hiking by myself and spotted this gorgeous youngster just off the side of the trail. My days of never having seen a wild rainbow boa were finally over. For a while I thought that perhaps I'd never need to visit the Peruvian Amazon again. But then Matt sent out a photo of some excellent frog that I haven't seen, and that silly thought vanished in a puff of smoke.

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