bunn (bunn) wrote,
bunn
bunn

Otters and things

Went to visit some otters today, at the Tamar Otter Centre.   The main job of this place is taking in young otters that have been orphaned and looking after them until they are old enough to release, so most of the otters we saw were British otters.  Apparently female British otters are terribly fierce, and specialise in beating up all the male otters, even though the males are much bigger.  And orphan baby otters are surprisingly tame and will stay close to their human while they are growing up.  And they hate learning to swim!

I think this was my favorite photo I took of an otter.
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I didn't manage to get even one photo of an otter flinging itself dramatically into the water, although they did that a lot - but at least I caught this one climbing out.
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Otters are hard to photograph, specially in dull weather with a manual focus lens!  I ended up with a lot of splashes and tails.
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One of the non-otter residents - a harvest mouse.  I'd never met a harvest mouse before, they were so tiny!  About the size of the first joint of my finger.
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My favorite of the otters, Carmen.  She is 13 years old! She only arrived at the centre when she was five years old, so she was too old to learn to be a wild otter.  She did a lot of rolling around on her back and also shouted at me impatiently, hoping I might be carrying fish, or possibly peanuts,
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I think this is Carmen as well, unless I've got mixed up.  Her eyes were all grey - presumably from age, although some of the male otters also had grey eyes, because they had been beaten up so badly by female otters.  Otter life is violent and tough!
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Or at least, British Otter life is tough.  They also had a colony of Asian short-clawed otters.  They are much more social,  smaller and I have to admit, kind of cuter.  They made rather adorable peeping noises to demand fish.
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Fallow deer, hiding away in a corner from tourists.  I thought it was a little odd that they had the introduced fallow deer rather than red or roe deer - but perhaps fallow deer are easier to look after.  And they are rather lovely, and look like Rosie Roo with dapples.
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Tags: otters, tamar valley, wildlife, yay
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