Friday, 18 January 2008

Giant Otters

This is Manoki the Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) from South America at the Chestnut Centre Otter Owl and Wildlife Park in Derbyshire which we visited in December. He was a most exciting (and excitable) chap and his various noises kept us amused for a long time.

This is him chatting away at close quarters (photo by Helen) and being generally sociable - he also gave high-pitched and far-carrying squeaks of excitement.

Last week there was a brilliant hour long programme about Giant Otters in their natural habitat - Raising Sancho the giant otter orphan on BBC Two. This was the story of a young giant otter's journey to adulthood.
Rescued by local fishermen as a baby and raised by giant otter expert Carolina Vargas, this is the story of a young giant otter's journey to adulthood. At first, Sancho is utterly dependent on Carolina, and has to be bottle fed and taught how to catch fish. Eventually Carolina knows that she will have to break their extraordinary bond as Sancho makes his way back into the wild. Giant otters are highly social animals, so Carolina doesn't know whether an orphaned giant otter can survive alone in the world's biggest wetland. In the idyllic Pantanal, we follow Sancho's story as he learns to survive in a world fraught with danger.

Some stills from the programme can be seen at otter.htm

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