RE: NANFA-- more comments on River Otters

Jay DeLong (
Mon, 14 Jan 2002 10:50:15 -0800

> As far as I'm concerned, this was the best case
>of species re-introduction they've done. They're so
>damned much fun to watch even the most hardened cynic
>has to smile. From what I gather, they don't have any
>traits that would upset landowners in the area.

A few months back there was a discussion on an aquatic nuisance species list
about otters attacking swimmers in a lake. Apparently some kids were
splashing in the water and one girl was attacked and bitten by at least one
river otter. They've been implicated in game fish declines, but probably in
systems more artificial than natural.

When I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, I enjoyed going to the Aqua Zoo
more for the river otters than anything else. It was a great outdoor
exhibit with slides and such. Around that same time, I remember seeing that
movie about that tame otter in England but I can't remember the name of the
movie (Shine On, Shine Brightly or something like that; anyone recall?).
The ending was a sharp jolt of reality of conflicting views towards nature.
A farmer killed the otter with a shovel.

A few years back I was using a coded-wire tag detector which beeped when it
detected a tag in a salmon head. In a nearby slough was an adult otter and
a few young. When the detector beeped, the otter responded with a similar
sound. Apparently it thought the beep was one of her young calling. In
time she accounted for all her young and they all left for the river.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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