Update, 2009: If you're looking for information about Raising Sancho or Carolina, there's been a lot of digital ink spilled on this blog about that very subject! Click here for a collection of posts, including one I wrote on 2/1/09 about what Carolina's doing now.
Update: Hello, Sancho fans from the October airing! I viewed Raising Sancho for the first time in September, and I wrote a series of posts that was generated in part by the scads of folks who found their way here looking for updates on Sancho. Carolina Vargas found us as well, and left a number of comments on the posts! For some reason, Google directs most readers to this post, but to read the whole group of posts, go here and begin at the bottom, moving up as you go. Please feel free to leave comments of your own on any of the posts. I don't know if Carolina will be checking back in or not. This post does contain names of organizations that do giant otter research for those of you who are interested.
As all of you know, I was deeply moved by Raising Sancho, and I've become really interested in giant otters (and mustelids in general as I learn more about them) since this show aired. And if you're reading this, it's a safe bet that you feel the same way.
Meanwhile, I've been doing more reading and looking around. Giant otters are endangered, and if present trends continue, their already-low numbers may halve in the next twenty years. For many years, they were extensively hunted for their pelts. Now, they face threats from mercury poisoning, habitat loss, illegal hunting, persecution from fishermen who perceive them as competition, and diseases passed on by domestic animals, such as parvovirus and distemper.
Go here and here for organizations working on giant otter conservation. Note that the latter organization has a page entitled Ways to Help. The Frankfurt Zoological Society also does giant otter conservation work in South America. Note also the page entitled "Support."
Here is a brief and charming video of a small group of giant otters.
I'll probably update this post with further links as I find them, for those who are as otter-obsessed as I am right now.
Further links: I'll be heading out to do some photography here shortly, but I wanted to provide you with a few interesting items. Regular reader Kristy viewed Raising Sancho yesterday and writes about it on her blog. Kristy points out that, too often, we expect neat endings with no ambiguity, and that isn't always how life goes.
Also, check this out. I could watch these guys forever. I believe what the first otter is doing is called periscoping. (Perhaps if Carolina is still checking in, she could tell me if that's correct or not.) I'll be back later on this afternoon. Feel free to continue the discussion in any of the three posts -- this has been great.