Update January 2005

Fingal and Sula are enjoying the quiet of winter and consequently fewer visitors. With the arrival of Heather and Karyn, the two new members of the animal care team, there has been a getting to know you period for both otters and girls. The new staff have had to be introduced to the otters gradually as it would stress Fingal and Sula and could result in aggressive behaviour if there are too many new faces to deal with quickly. One of our Otters
So it has taken three months for the brother and sister pair to be comfortable and relaxed when Karyn or Heather are working within the enclosure. Sula is known to have a short fuse and is now happy to hand feed from Heather, and Fingal, in his happy go lucky manner, has taken a shine to Heather´s wellies! These new situations are, in themselves, great for the otters, as it is a continual challenge to keep them stimulated and happy.
One of our Otters The most dramatic form of environmental enrichment that we´ve seen this year was entirely caused by nature. The recent storm that battered the West Coast of Scotland brought Loch Creran on to our doorstep. Three metre waves crashed up the shore and around the walls of the otter enclosure. The wind was so strong it held the tide high for a long time and seawater seeped inside. Fortunately it only reached the lower pools and the top pool remained uncontaminated with the essential fresh water that the otters require to keep their fur well groomed.
Hopefully the bad weather is now behind us and we can look forward to the joys of spring. The otters have both had some new food items recently in the form of rats, very small mice and prawns. Sula enjoyed the prawns after a bit of a pause to make sure they were edible. Fingal has loved the small mice but is not so sure about the rats, leaving them till the end of the feed.

Feeding has been varied too of late, with the otters being ravenous at one feed and then not really bothering for the next few. There is no real pattern to these changes and so you never know what mood they will be in when you set foot inside.

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