The Otters Are Back
According to this report, otters are now back in every county in England.
Many years ago, when supposedly otters were extinct in Suffolk, I used to know a real countryman, who in his time, had been the Master of the East Anglian Otter Hounds. They hadn’t hunted otters for many years and just followed the scent they left. If they wanted sport, they hunted the two pests of mink and coypu.
He believed that otters were there and said that the reason they were never seen, was that those who looked didn’t know how to find them, as they tended to look for the signs of otters, rather than the animals themselves. He also felt that if people believed otters to be extinct, this would mean more money and visitors for otter sanctuaries. Others like Bjorn Lomborg believe that some organisations make out that things are worse than they are for their own selfish reasons.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if my friend was right, that otters were about, but preferred to keep their own company.
That is not to say that their numbers were small because of pesticides, bad water quality and other problems. Another naturalist once told me, that the biggest threat to otters on places like the Norfolk Broads was powerboats, as the boats’ wakes drowned otters and their young in their holts.
There was also a story last year about koi carp being stolen from an ornamental pond in Birmingham. The usual suspects were put in the frame and CCTV was setup. Everybody was surprised when the culprits were identified as otters from a nearby canal.
It just goes to show that animals are much more common than you think.
How long before an otter gets spotted in the Olympic Park. They already have foxes and a dead otter was found in Wapping in 2006.