Otter romp


Three of the four otters that visited in late November.

That we have river otters in Kootenay Lake is irrefutable. However, they are few in number and, alas, they rarely visit. It had been many months without seeing them when they stopped by in late November. That was that. I expected to not see them again for many months.

However, in the remarkably low light of a predawn snowstorm this morning, one otter appeared on the dock. Why it was there soon became evident: play. It raced along the dock, dropped its head and body and pushed off so as to slide across the snow-covered surface. It dawned on me that an otter has remarkably few opportunities to play this sliding game. Most of the time, surfaces are just too rough to enable even a thin layer of snow to allow playful sliding. However, even a thin surface of snow on the nearly smooth surface of a dock is ideal. In this way, otters seemed to have welcomed the presence of humans into their domain.

Soon, the one otter was joined by three others. They slid, they frolicked and just played.

Then, a fifth otter turned up, but it brought along a fish (a sucker). Now, this breakfast treat really did distract the other four from their games.

At this point, the thought of having breakfast dominated and all the otters abandoned their play to go and search for fish. Yet, my favourite part of this romp was the otters running along the dock and sliding in the snow.


This entry was posted in mammals. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Otter romp

  1. Allan Hobden says:

    OOOOH!…I am going to guess when you saw the 4 Otters in late November – they came to our bay here at Woodbury…we hadn`t seen one, or a pair for a couple of years..then we saw 4 down on the neighbor’s dock..and they were `squabbling..not fighting over a fish..and tearing pieces off of it…quite pinkish and about 12″…one did keep a hold of the fish..but was losing some of it at times..then one or two would slip back into the water..and then come back up..entry and exit very fluid and in one motion..they spent 10 minutes or so on the dock…..great to see..thx for this Alistair!….and p.s…Merry Christmas!!..ho ho ho..

  2. Karen Pidcock says:

    I love watching river otters…so very playful…they remind us to have fun, and with bodies like they have, they’re surely made for slip, sliding away!! Wish you could’ve posted a video, but thanks for the interesting blue photos!

  3. Irene McIlwaine says:

    Thank you so much for those pictures and all the others. They brighten many a day.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours. Irene McIlwaine

  4. Alistair says:

    Video pls

  5. pamella Wik says:

    That is charming, touching. What a wonderful Christmas gift.
    All the best this season, Alistair, to you and yours.

  6. Kristina Anderson says:

    Beautiful. I love the idea that they arrived at the dock just to play first thing in the morning. Thank you for your posts, they always bring a smile to my day.

Comments are closed.