By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung
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Photographer, Wim van den Heever perfectly captured the incredible moment the spectacular bright orange creature gets too close for comfort.
Wim, 44, said: “I was photographing caiman along a small river in the Pantanal in Brazil.
“I was using my small boat to position at just the right angles, almost lying flat on the deck of the boat to get a good angle.”
Caiman are a reptile closely related to alligators and crocodiles, with six different species found in central and south America.
To Wim’s surprise the beautiful butterfly then flew into the scene and landed on the eye of the caiman.
“The butterfly started drinking the fluid in the caiman’s eye, which it seems they often do, as I’ve seen this behaviour on a number of occasions,” Wim explained.
Like crocodiles, caimans are long, squat creatures, with big jaws and long tails.
They have thick, scaled skin, and their eyes and noses are located on the tops of their heads which enables them to see and breathe while the rest of their body is underwater.
In several of the images, the caiman initially seems unfazed by its new friend but moments later it appears to open its mouth in an attempt to snap up the butterfly.
The Pretoria-based photographer said: “Although I have seen this behavior before, it has always been at a distance. It was great to have a butterfly fly in while I was photographing the Caiman.
“The butterfly stayed for quite a while - at least five minutes - flying from one caiman to the next.”