Pink Botos are river dolphins. They are skilled swimmers and humans have always being enchanted by these gracious creatures. In the past, like their sea cousins, they were openly fished and killed. Now, in the Amazon region, it is against the law to hunt these mammals. Unfortunately some people still kill many of them to use the meat as bait.
The swimming you see in the video embedded here is done with permission of the authorities and under strict rules. Fact is the less contact the best, but some contact is important for US, it help US be and feel more green. No one who has been near these friendly Botos will want them killed. Groups of mentally disabled kids go every so often to interact with the Botos. The guide told us the Botos get much more curious while swimming with the disable.
The legend – In typical June party nights the Pink Boto comes out of river. Filled with special powers, he becomes a handsome young man dressed in white linen. The damned also covers his face with a white hat, thus disguising the big nose. Talkative and flirtatious he approaches young unaccompanied girls to seduce them. Then the Boto convinces them to take a walk on the bottom of the river. Down there the girls get pregnant. The next day he goes back to the larger rivers and is gone forever.
In 1978, in Brazil, the legend of the pink river dolphin was turned into a movie. “Ele o boto” (He the Boto) had big Brazilian movie names in the cast: Carlos Alberto Riccelli, Cássia Kiss and Ney Latorraca. The director was Walter Lima Junior. It is a cult movie today.
The fact – The legend of the scoundrel Boto was used to justify the occurrence of outside marriage pregnancy. Even today, in the north region of Brazil, if the father is unknown it is customary to say that a child is the Boto’s son.
Proof –During lunch soon after swimming with the pink dolphins, I asked one of the waitresses if she had ever gone swimming with dolphins. She said no, he thought that that brought bad luck… The most amazing fact is that the legend is still real to many people today.
“Tradition says that the Amazon river dolphin carries a sword strapped to his belt, but that at the end of the night, when it is time he returns to his bed in the river, one can clearlly see that all accessories are in fact other river dwellers. The sword is an electric eel (electric fish), the hat is a stingray, and finally the belt and shoes are two different types Fish.
The boto or Uauiara, as the local indians call it, is also known to be a kind of women’s protector. Many people say and believe that if a boat sinks, the Boto will be seem pushing women out of the river, rescuing them, in order to prevent them from drowning, why this is so no one knows… ” Prof. Pacievitch Thais
Legends aside, to swim with the Botos is a delight, a unique experience. When you visit Manaus and the Ariau Towers do not skip this activity. The swimming location is in Ariau River. As you can see in the video we swam in the open river, this is the same place where we saw the caiman (Caiman) the night before and fished piranhas the same morning. There’s no danger because the piranhas are terrified of Botos (maybe the piranhas know the legend?) and alligators have night habits.