Saturday, July 24, 2010

Otters in Water

Depending on your pronunciation of these two words, you have to stretch a little for the rhyme, but oh well.

In the past couple of weeks, every time I’ve stopped by the small-clawed otter exhibit I’ve found the otters being remarkably active, given the heat—although, since many of their activities involved being submerged in water, maybe that’s not so surprising. Sometimes they’ll run along the entire length of the enclosure in their shallow stream, sometimes they’ll swim in the pool that’s set conveniently against the glass viewing wall. A few times they’ve started frolicking in the water, mock-fighting or playing with stones and shells and occasionally gnawing on those same items. Unfortunately, because of the combination of water and that same convenient glass wall, it’s very difficult to take pictures of them that aren’t distorted or full of reflections of, say, my sandals (it creates an interestingly surreal, double-exposure effect but is not what I intended). But I was able to find a few pictures that were technically decent and, I believe, captured the moment.

Playing with stones in the water:

Gnawing on things:


The photos can't do them justice—for one thing, the little buggers move around so quickly that I rarely get a decent shot of them—but it's also just more fun to see their antics in person. If you can stand the heat, that is. My last visit, I was sorely tempted to dive in and join them, and I'm trying to avoid their exhibit until I get that impulse under control. It never looks good on one's resume to have been banned from the zoo after traumatizing a tank-full of otters...


Unknown said...

They look positively crazy when they gnaw on things!!! (I say this as an unlicensed professional, of course.)

Also, they're cute in an almost dog-like way. Maybe it's the furry playfulness about them.

Anca said...

I love it that they dunk each other!

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

They *are* very dog-like, I think, in the way they play--and in the way they look sort of maniacal when they're really involved in chewing on something. They also have a sinuous kind of movement that seems a little cat-like to me.

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