River Otter



River Otter

This was fun photo take as I was watching a raccoon in a shallow canal that appeared to be attempting catch something without much luck but with great persistence. Out the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of something moving and turned only see ripples the water. I changed my attention to that area and watched as an otter popped up, looked at me, and ducked back under the water.

A few away another otter popped up doing the same thing then a third. It was like the old "whack-a-mole" arcade game. Maybe it was just one very quick otter, I'll never know but it was fun watch. I focused on one spot in the water, and sure enough, I got this photo which is among my favorites.

This was taken just outside of the C.R.E.W. Bird Rookery Swamp Trail which is one of my regular places to visit and is near the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary but unlike Corkscrew, admission is free. As a side note I want to mention that otters are cute mammals that seem to be living the good life of having fun swimming, sliding, diving, and being generally playful. They can also be vicious when cornered so always give them plenty room. Sure they're cute, even adorable, but don't even think about trying to touch one.

Otters are efficient predators that primarily feed on fish but will feed on other readily available prey. They have been known eat aquatic insects, amphibians, mollusks, reptiles, and birds. I'm not intending to spoil any vision you may have them but when you notice the number baby ducks your local pond are decreasing pretty quickly, otters should be the suspect along with hawks and eagles.

Another time, in the same general location, I came upon this otter walking towards me. He didn't seem as concerned about sharing the path as I was and I was a bit nervous as we neared each other. I was pleased when it decided to veer into the weeds and leave the path to me.



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