The Wildtales Inc.

Animals of Guyana’s Rainforest: How Dangerous are they?

Catching small caiman in Guyana

Animals of Guyana’s Rainforest: How Dangerous are they? Guyana is home to some truly incredible animals – creatures you might not even be familiar with unless you’re already very well travelled. 

While they might be amazing – and while you might be tempted to try and spot them during your time in the jungle – some of them are highly dangerous. If you want to make sure you aren’t putting yourself (or the animal) at risk, it’s a good idea to read up on what animals you could encounter in the Guyanese Amazon. 

To help you get started, here’s a quick introduction to four animals that live in the jungles of Guyana. In all cases, we’d highly recommend you avoid them as much as possible; all four are dangerous wild animals. For your own safety and the ensured conservation of the animals, we strongly advise you to keep well back.

Trust us when we tell you that a good picture isn’t worth the risk!


One of the most beautiful but elusive creatures in the Amazon Rainforest is the jaguar. These magnificent big cats are highly effective predators and are perfectly camouflaged in the jungle environment that they call home.

Their beautiful markings might be gorgeous to look at, but don’t be fooled: these cats are deadly. 

Jaguars can crush skulls with just one bite, and their hunting expertise means you’ll struggle to hear one coming. The good news is that jaguars rarely attack humans; most prefer to leave an area with people rather than engage with them. 

If you spot a jaguar during your time in Guyana, you might want to get closer to try and snap a once-in-a-lifetime photo –but be sensible! In a face-to-face encounter, you’ll definitely come off worse.


Caimans are like the cousins of crocodiles and alligators, so that should give you an idea of what you’re dealing with here. These are carnivorous reptiles with strong jaws and explosive ambush attacks.

Several species of caiman live around Central and South America, but the main one you want to look out for is the black caiman. This is the largest species of caiman, and it can grow to lengths of 4 metres (13 feet). In fact, the black caiman is the biggest predator in the whole of the Amazon ecosystem – they’re simply massive.

As well as being pretty sizeable, black caimans are incredibly fast, especially in the water. You’ll want to engage any body of water that might contain a group of caimans or nesting mothers. Their diet consists of pretty much anything and everything, and they’re highly skilled predators. 

They’re more likely to attack other species than humans, but they won’t hesitate to strike if they feel provoked, so keep your distance. 


The main idea most of us have about piranhas comes from horror films. While these fish might not be able to turn a human being into a pile of bones in five seconds flat, that doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous. 

Fatal attacks from piranhas are not documented, so you probably don’t need to worry about that if you encounter one. But a piranha bite can still be nasty – and if you’re in a jungle survival situation, a cut can quickly turn into something worse.

Watch out for decreasing bodies of water like lakes in the dry season if you want to eliminate any chance of a piranha attack. If bitten then apply rigours wound management as bites are notoriously know to cause infection. 


Regular-sized otters are usually thought of as being pretty cute – giant otters are pretty cool too, but they’re something you should still be wary of. 

Giant otters might look pretty harmless, and they don’t tend to attack people. But if you disturb their nest or make them feel threatened, they can and will do you some serious damage. 

All animals in the Guyanese jungle are wild, which means they aren’t accustomed to interacting with people. Instead, they’re used to defending themselves when needed, no matter who they’re up against. 

Giant otters won’t attack unprovoked, but we recommend you keep your fingers to yourself nonetheless – especially if they have pups with them.


The animals of Guyana’s rainforests can all be dangerous. By nature, they’re all about survival, and that means they could cause you harm if you interfere with them or their environment. 

The critical thing to remember when you’re in the jungle is that you’re the outsider; you’re coming into a natural environment and potentially disturbing creatures who have lived there for generations. It’s essential that you show these animals the respect they deserve. 

Fill in our contact form to find out more information or to book onto one of our Amazon adventures. To find out more about Guyana you can visit the GTA.

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