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News article created on 31 March 2015

Rare otter welcomes spring in Wales

One of Wales’ most elusive mammals has been caught on camera enjoying springtime on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, in the Brecon Beacons.

Alan Gardner, who works for Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, caught footage of the otter scampering across the towpath below Lock 65 near Llangynidr.

Alan said: “It was early in the morning and I saw some bubbles coming from under the water. At first I thought there was something wrong with the canal, but then a head popped up and I could see it was an otter with a fish. I rushed back to the van to get a camera, and was just in time to see him nip off across the towpath. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”

Exciting animal

Dr Mark Robinson, ecologist at Glandŵr Cymru, said: “We’ve always known that there are otters on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, but it’s very rare to see one, let alone get such clear footage of one. Usually they’re quite shy and keep out of sight during the day, but clearly this one had things to do after his breakfast and was enjoying the milder weather. Otters usually live alone and cover wide territories, so they’re not too much of a problem for the fish population. They’re definitely one of the most exciting animals to see in the wild.”