These otter cubs are nearly the identical dimension as their mum and nonetheless suckling. Time for mum to show them important survival abilities and start the method of separation.
ISLE OF MULL, SCOTLAND
I spent every week watching an otter mum put together her cubs for independence on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. The surroundings right here is gorgeous, and you’ll take pleasure in all of it in 4K.
SEARCHING FOR OTTERS
Male otters maintain massive territories which they mark with ‘spraints’. These are straightforward to identify as a result of they fertilise the soil beneath which in flip prompts the grass to develop into mounds. By following the spraint mouds, I quickly spot the dominant canine otter.
However it’s a six mile trek alongside the shoreline earlier than I discover a feminine with cubs. This household look like dwelling below some rocks by the shoreline the place the feminine can simply take her cubs out foraging. This is called a nursery holt.
It’s wonderful to see how the household hunt as one, with the feminine within the lead and the 2 cubs streamlined behind her. They transfer by means of the seaweed in search of crabs, fish, and even octopus, slipping by means of the water nearly as one.
The mom is educating her cubs to hunt. In one other two months, they are going to be a 12 months previous and fending for themselves. Within the meantime, they nonetheless rely on her to offer meals for them in addition to to suckle.
MUM IS TIRED
The toll on mum is starting to point out, she appears skinny and is clearly drained. It gained’t be lengthy earlier than she pushes them out of this territory. Within the meantime watch her attempt to grasp on to her personal catch, and take day trip for a nap.
The cubs are nonetheless making sense of the change in mum and when she doesn’t reply to their calls they give the impression of being frightened. However they’re additionally creating quick. Already the male cub is a proficient hunter and it’s enjoyable to observe them play collectively while mum recuperates.
However these cubs are nonetheless susceptible. There are white-tailed eagles within the skies above and these big birds can kill otter cubs. Canine otters are additionally a risk, particularly to the younger male. Fortunately the canine otter holding this territory is definitely their father.
As soon as reunited the otter household start grooming. That is an important a part of an otter’s each day routine, it reinforces household bonds and retains their fur clear. However it additionally performs an necessary function in preserving them heat.
Because the otters carry the fur they lure a layer of air near their our bodies which insulates them from the chilly water. This is the reason you see a tell-tale path of bubbles when an otter dives, it’s the air being slowly launched!
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