Every now and then, I get to see a few River Otters around here. Usually, I see them in ponds, lakes, or the ocean. They prefer to catch most of their food in the ocean because it is easier. Just because they are often seen swimming in the ocean, many people believe they are Sea Otters. These two types of Otter are quite easy to tell apart:
There are few, if any, Sea Otters along the SE coast of Vancouver Island. The Valdez oil-spill disaster killed many Sea Otters along the west coast of Alaska and BC. In the 1700's and 1800's, vast numbers were slaughtered for the fur trade. "Alaska" by James A. Michener gives a rather gruesome account of how they were killed.
Fortunately, five years ago, I came across a family of 5 River Otters catching fish and bringing them ashore to eat. As long as I kept my distance, they were not to concerned with my presence.
Lighting was not the best, with them in full shade and the bright water behind. All shots were taken with the Canon 1DMk3 and the 100-400.
1. "Look at that fish that Dad caught."
2. "Come on Dad, aren't you going to share?"
3. "Aren't you going to share with the children dear?"
4. "All we can do is wait and hope children, but keep an eye on that human."
5. "Something suspicious over there, get ready to dive back into the water."