During the first lockdown in 2020 with people taking more exercise along the riverbanks there were numerous otter sightings in Dorset. The trend is continuing in 2021 and these stunning images were captured by Danny Howe on the River Stour in Bournemouth.
Otters might look cuddly, but they are dangerous wild animals with a powerful bite. Just look at those teeth. If you see an otter, keep a safe distance.
Semi aquatic and carnivorous, otters are a protected species in the UK. They live in holts, which can be a burrow or natural holes along a riverbank because these native animals need access to water.
Their staple diet is fish. Eels are a particular favourite. They will also catch frogs and take small mammals, birds and eggs.
Baby otters are called pups or kittens and stay with mum until they are about a year old.
Otters are playful and if you don’t see them, you may hear them squeaking and splashing along the riverbank. They like sliding into the water on mudslides.
Another River Stour hot spot for otters is in Wimborne.
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