Update November 2005

Fingal and Sula are fat and happy and are love chasing the falling leaves from the overhead trees. They like the break from constant visitors and the centre getting quieter. Sula is mellowing with age and is becoming much more affectionate to her handlers. She hand feeds very well and will now come up to rub her chin against our arms and legs. Fingal is his usual gregarious self and enjoys rubbing our backs and will even try to sneak inside the care teams jumpers! This is a result of both the training programme but also because the otters are now very familiar with their carers and both otters and staff are more confident with each other. The training is going well and is progressing to touch stick and target training. This should mean more diverse interaction and means we are getting closer to being able to perform, for instance, a dental exam without the use of anaesthesia.
In September we were really pleased to see a mother otter and two cubs swimming and playing in the weed on the shore just beside Sula and Fingal´s enclosure. It was magical to see a native otter and her cubs playing so close. Hopefully she has a holt not too far away and we´ll see her or her cubs again.
Pete behind Fingal Sadly we must bid farewell to Pete (seen behind Fingal - it´s the only photo we have of him). Pete started out as a volunteer in 1996 and ended up as our senior aquarist. He has cared for thousands of seals, fish and invertebrates and of course the otters, whom he finally became confident with after a shaky start! We are all going to miss his company and friendship and we wish him well in Wales.

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