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An otter-ly unsual sighting at River Sid

12:00 14 June 2014

An otter spotted on the River Sid this week. Picture from video submitted by Jake Puckey. Ref shs otter

An otter spotted on the River Sid this week. Picture from video submitted by Jake Puckey. Ref shs otter

Archant

AN otter brazenly enjoys the sunshine and frolics in the water in a rare daytime sighting in the River Sid – to the amazement of a passing dog walker.

Jake Puckey, 19, caught the moment on camera as the freshwater creature blissfully made its way down to the stream before swimming against the current, seemingly foraging for food.

The Sidbury resident was walking his collie Billy before the chance encounter on Monday.

“I heard some movement in the water,” said decorator Jake.

“I knew my dog was not in the water and then I saw the otter.

“I got quite excited and pulled out my phone to get a spec on it – you rarely see them around here.”

He is considering returning to the site to see if there is a family of otters dwelling there.

“I might go back,” he added. “But, it is quite nice to leave him to it. It made my morning seeing him.”

Steve Hussey of Devon Wildlife Trust said the unusual sighting was a ‘real treat’.

“Otters usually restrict their activity to the hours of darkness,” he said.

“But, if you are in the right place at the right time it is possible to get lucky.

“While otters are present on rivers and streams right across Devon, to have a clear daytime sighting is a real treat. I hope he enjoyed the sighting.”

“Otter numbers plummeted in the 1960s due to the poor state of many of our rivers.

“Work by conservation groups such as Devon Wildlife Trust has meant that today we once again have a healthy population of these beautiful animals.”

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