National Geographic : 1976 Aug
Threatened by progress, animal denizens of the formerly game-rich llanos keep a low profile. Despite the country's two-year ban on hunting-except by primitive Indians poaching has seriously depleted game stocks. Cousin to the alligator, a caiman (below) patrols the surface of an algae-covered pond in search of food. This specimen at an ex perimental project in Caracas was artificial 202 ly incubated-part of conservationist Tomtas Blohm's long-range effort to ensure the sur vival of these tropical crocodilians. Momentarily mum, an anxious red howler monkey (right) takes refuge from intruders among the spines of a palm. Like miniature hippopotamuses, a pack of blunt-nosed cap ybaras gallop toward a water hole (lower). Partially webbed feet help these world's largest rodents-weighing as much as 100 pounds-swim and dive gracefully.