Oscars are present in many countries in South America. They have adapted to diverse water conditions, river systems, and coexist with different species.
Since 2006 I have been going to a very special spot in the Venezuelan llanos. This spot has clear water for a very short period of time in the rainy season. When I get there and start putting on my gear I start to get very impatient. I start to hurry, I dive in the water and start looking for some old friends, hoping they were not eaten by piranhas, crocs, or people since my last visit. I swim around, looking from side to side hoping they are still among the living. Once I spot them and recognize them by distinctive traits, I am happy and feel a sense of relief so I can relax. It is like visiting family, my Oscar family; and they are so wild!

Imagine standing on a flat plain with scattered tree patches and short brush. The only man made things around are the pothole road, your car, barbed wire fences made out of tree logs, and the occasional domestic cattle hybrid. The horizon stretches as far as your eyes can see. Nimbus cloud patches show various storm systems with heavy rainfall far, far away. Despite the 32° c. ambient temperature, a soft tropical breeze makes it feel 27° c.; just perfect! It is the rainy season so the area has been naturally landscaped to a majestic flooded grassland, savanna biome. These are the Venezuelan Llanos.