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Cape clawless otter

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Yves
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Cape clawless otter

Unread postby Yves » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:58 pm

This past weekend i was lucky to see my first two Cape clawless otters. I spotted them on the wier in the Sabie River at the last section it can be viewed from the tar road just before the S28 turn-off. I first noticed two crocodiles on the bank that looked very agitated. On a closer inspection i could see one of the otters was trying to bite or do something to irritate the croc. The croc was trying to grab the otter but it was too fast for it. The otters proceeded onto the concrete weir and over the other side. It was great to witness the courage of the brave otter. Unfortunatley it was a bit too far for photos. Has anyone else seen otters in the Park, as i think this sighting is very rare?

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:15 am

Wow!

That is a super sighting indeed! :clap:
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:12 am

I came across this after reading up about the annual Pel's survey conducted along the Olifants river.

a Giant Kingfisher hovering and diving like a Pied Kingfisher behind 3 Cape Clawless Otters.


They are not commonly seen in Kruger by any means. Elsewhere they might be seen on regular intervals.
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:05 pm

Cape Clawless Otter – the source of the name of the Otter Trail, this shy and elusive species hunts crabs along the park’s coastline and rivers alike.

One of the five things to seek when visiting Tsitsikamma National Park the Parks home page at www.sanparks.org tells one.

To see otters in their natural habitat is for me one of those wishes one carries with one when visiting a SANPark with the hope of catching a glimpse of a rare sighting. I honestly never expected to see any on our trip mid July 2008 – after all others were always the lucky ones....

So, there we were just relaxing on the veranda of our ocenette at Storms River enjoying the last of our brekkie. My eye caught a movement in the water amongst the rocks below... a seal I thought! Oh cool! Then he was gone. No! There he was again, peering through a crevice in the rocks. Seals don’t scamper along the rocks!!! That is an otter!!!
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We followed this little fellow along the coast for probably 200m.

He met up with his buddies in a large gully and we watched as they swam around in the rough waters – often being thrown about. What a delightful group! There were five in total. They’d climb on the rocks and then be washed off. They looked so carefree. They reminded me of a group of teenage boys who were on their first adventure from home ....
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And then they were gone – diving amongst the waves.

Later that afternoon from the viewing deck near the restaurant, in the gully below, I noticed four little familiar heads bobbing about in the swirling white water.

For the next twenty or so minutes, the adventurous four kept the crowd enthralled. Workmen put down their tools, SANParks staff paused their daily tasks and everyone just watched in wonder.

The crowd had gathered at the edge of the rocks ... and the otters played to their audience. They posed for pics, dived into the ocean, climbed back onto the rocks ... like well trained performers.

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As the four teenagers swam off further into the bay without a care in the world, I turned to one of the SANParks staff and said; 'not something you see everyday?' He replied – 'no, this is front page news' :D
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Unread postby arks » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:54 pm

WoW, DB, what a spectacular sighting!! 8) And a spectacular series of pix of them, too. I've seen sea otters along the US west coast, and land otters frolicking in the snow in northern New Hampshire, but as yet, no RSA otters :( Yours are a special treat! :dance:
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Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:30 pm

Wonderfull sighting DB! Truly spectacular!

I have seen them twice, but always just a glimpse, and then they are gone!
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:01 pm

Link to video of Cape Clawless Otters - put together by Hawk :D

When the link opens, bottom right of black window is a 'google' icon, select that and then 'original size' to view the video in better resolution.
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Unread postby G@mespotter » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:11 pm

wildtuinman wrote:Almost as good as our flying squirrel with Martial Eagle back pack. :twisted:


WTM, had a moerse laugh :wink: Indeed one of the best sightings recorded DeeBee :thumbs_up:

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Re: Cape clawless otter

Unread postby Yves » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:45 pm

Well thats amazing... :clap: the same spot i saw the two of them just over a year ago. The causeway must be part of their territory. I was at the same spot this weekend looking out for them but no luck..

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Re: Cape clawless otter

Unread postby iNkwazi » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:31 pm

Just returned from another great trip to KNP - stayed at Lower Sabie (25 - 30/7/09) in the safari tents. From our deck, we saw an otter on one of the sand banks in the middle of the river. I have video footage which I can post - if someone can tell me how to do it! Also saw one at Nkhulu picnic spot a day later which was truly special, and another sighting of CCO at LS - 3 in 3 days! Very lucky I'd say!! (Unfortunately no photos though)

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Re: Cape clawless otter

Unread postby iNkwazi » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:56 pm

The Nkhulu sighting was quite interesting because a heron had just caught a fish when we noticed a commotion in the water - only to realise that it was an otter trying to snatch the fish from the heron. The heron had to fly away with its breakfastto escape the CCO!! :clap: Quite nice because there was a tourist standing next to us who also witnessed it. Am always happy when visitors see something different/special in our KNP! :lol:

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Re: Cape clawless otter

Unread postby AjayB » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:04 pm

Theyre reputed to be quite fiesty animals ....Thats a bit of a tussle that.....the heron-bill spear vs the otters set of razor-gnashers!! If otters had wings , he would have been after him :lol:

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Re: Cape clawless otter

Unread postby iNkwazi » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:30 pm

They seem to be quite playful - he/she acknowledged defeat and swam off happily downstream. Maybe it was the same one that we met later on at LS!! Haha.

PS: The tourist ran back to his friends and told them he had just witnessed a kill! :huh:

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Re: Cape clawless otter

Unread postby iNkwazi » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:25 am

I agree. It was said tongue in cheek. From the bridge at LS we saw a croc catching a barbel, with a goliath heron standing right next to it, picking out the bits and pieces from the kill. Great sighting! The otter from Nkhulu should have been there.....

Like I said, its great that tourists to our country get to see special and different aspects of nature. Let alone us SA citizens. We are very priveledged to have the reserves we have, right on our doorstep.

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Re: Cape clawless otter

Unread postby iNkwazi » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:14 pm

This a pic of the otter seen at Lower Sabie. Sorry about the poor quality - I got it off my video footage. (Have tried for days to upload the video on tinypic - unsuccessfully, so this is the best I can do!

Image

{fixed link - BGS}


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