Natural World

Series 31 - 9. Giant Otters of the Amazon: Natural World

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

Charlie Hamilton James sails into the heart of the Amazon rainforest to renew an old acquaintance with Diablo, a giant otter he first befriended when it was six months old. Diablo is now a 6ft-long adult with a family of small cubs, all of whom have to be taught to swim. Oddly, baby giant otters don’t like the water. The cubs are as endearing as you would expect – they look like tiny, bald, whiskered old men.

But giant otters aren’t just photogenic cuties who love to splash about for fun; life is dangerous on the Amazon where otter-predator the caiman (it looks like a crocodile) lies patiently in wait for dinner to swim by. In a remarkable sequence Hamilton James captures a noisy, chaotic full-on fight as Diablo and his family round on a caiman in a long battle to the death.

About this programme

9/10. Cameraman Charlie Hamilton James heads to the Peruvian jungle to chart the hazardous life of a giant otter and its unruly family of six cubs. The young ones must learn how to swim, catch piranha and avoid predators, with Charlie managing to capture a fight between the otters and a caiman, a large aquatic reptile closely related to the alligator and the crocodile.

Cast and crew


Charlie Hamilton James


Charlie Hamilton James
Executive Producer
Chris Cole
Charlie Hamilton James
Series Editor
Steve Greenwood