The story of Buraco das Araras sinkhole is lost in memories and local culture. Despite being known since long ago by ancient inhabitants of this region, the first official record of its existence only took place in 1912, by local worker Antonio Amaro de Oliveira. He was doing his routine cattle work with some partners at Fazenda Costa Rica, which by then was part of Bela Vista district, in the former Mato Grosso State (today this region belongs to the municipality of Jardim, in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul). The men noticed many macaws flying near a large patch of forest and decided to check what was going on. Instead of a thicket, they found an enormous hole hidden among the vegetation. Due to the amount of macaws, they began to call the place “Buraco das Araras” (“Macaws’ Hole”), as it is known until nowadays. It is easy to imagine that the news were not very welcome by the former owner of Fazenda Costa Rica, afraid that cattle and horses could fall into the hole. The solution was to leave it outside of the ranches, creating a corridor (former road) between properties.
At that time some people started visiting the place, amazed by its dimensions and with the macaws flying inside. But soon a nefarious use was given to that place. Some people figured that the immense sinkhole was a good place to eliminate opponents and started to throw their enemies inside, so that they would die and never be found, turning the Macaws’ Hole into a true “open sky cemetery”. History says that many cattle robbers, lovers caught red-handed and people who knew too much about a given secret were taken there upon orders from ranchers, foremen, politicians and also wanderers, the most famous being Silvino Jacques. His stories are very famous in the region, among them the method of ordering the victim to run as a form of escaping the gunshots, without knowing that he/she was rushing towards the fatal abyss.
Fortunately this is all part of the past. The only remains are several tales about ghosts or people that managed to survive by grabbing the trees and returning for revenge against their harassers. These cases started to attract more people interested in knowing the famous Macaws’ Hole. However, many of them had no environmental awareness, and since the access was open, for many years the sinkhole was vandalized. The rock walls and macaws were used as shooting targets, there was a lot of littering and even remains of robbed cars were thrown inside. As a result of these negative practices and also of the growing deforestation on the surroundings, the once abundant macaws began to gradually disappear, until none were left and the name “Macaws’ Hole” became a memory from past times.