Sunday Morning Catch-up: Otters

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We had a wonderful afternoon at The Chestnut Centre in the Peak District last Sunday. Otters are my favourite animal, and at The Chestnut Centre they have giant otters, North American river otters, Eurasian otters and short-clawed Asian otters. Many of the animals are part of breeding programs with the aim of releasing offspring into the wild. It was the giant otter I was most excited to see. They are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and are native to the rainforests and wetlands of South America. The Chestnut Centre is the first park in the UK to send a captive-bred giant otter to an international breeding programme abroad. Hopefully, this means more giant otters will be returned to the wild in the future.

I love otters because of their playful personalities. They’re secretive creatures and I was so excited when I first saw Eurasian otters in a river in Norfolk whilst I was doing a botanical survey (the last, much-treasured, photo below). There is nothing like seeing a wild animal in the wild. It was very hard to concentrate on the plants after that…

Photos: above—North American river otter, first three photos below—giant otter, next three photos below—short-clawed Asian otter, bottom—Eurasian otter.

 

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