Raising Otter Pups
I've had the good fortune to see otter pups raised in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. I am not sure how to share what I saw. In took me years to understand what I was seeing, but I don't think it is worth sharing the long learning process. This unscientific study of otters is already riddled with enough conjecture and flights of imagination. So I will more or less take a chronological approach sharing the videos of otters that I saw in July, then in August, then September and so on. Because it stands to reason that it would and it appears to me that it does, I will focus in turn on a mother raising one pup, then one raising two, and then one raising three. So you will see one, two and then three pups in July, and then the same breakdown in August, then September, and so on. But to begin I'd like to share video clips of four otters that I saw as I sat over their den at Otter Hole Pond on November 5, 1997. Thus far in this book I have shared several videos of mature otters fishing, but not in a way that shows the culmination of months of lessons. The next twenty or so pages are full of video clips of otter pups learning. Here are pups showing their skills. The first otter clip below shows otter mother and pups foraging through the pond, and the next clip shows them foraging at the dam, until they sense me and swim off in a huff.
And here's the otters fishing by the dam:
When I get to raising pups in November, I'll analyze these clips. For now, let's start at the other end of the learning curve. I'll preface my attempt to explain otter pup rearing with three previews. In 2004 I saw a mother with one pup several times, and below is a video clip of their swimming together on July 14:
I saw a mother raise two pups in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2006. The video clip below shows a mother feeding her pups in July 2002:
And in 1997, 2000, and 2003, I saw a mother raise three pups. The entrance of the pups being led and disciplined by their mother and her helper on July 19, 2000, was unforgettable. I was just relaxing by a pond and had no inkling that I'd see them.
So let's begin with a mother raising one pup.
Turn the page and take a look: page6
By Bob Arnebeck mailto: email@example.com