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Is the 'creature' a baby otter?

1st November 2009 @ 10:10am – by Audlem Webteam
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Last week, Nigel Machin from Chapel End wrote in with the following query:

"Whilst walking along the canal last Sunday my wife and I stumbled across the attached "creature" on the towpath (Kinsey Heath side). It was about 6 inch long and at first we thought it was a dead rat, but on closer inspection it was maybe a dead piglet . If so why was it at the side of the canal? Any thoughts – perhaps your readers could explain?"

Suggestions since then have included a dead squirrel. Now, Suzanne Poole has written to say: "Could the Audlem creature be a new born otter pup?"

Otter expertLast year, on 16th March, Audlem Online reported the following: "An otter expert from Exeter University – he was in Audlem because his artist wife was involved in the exhibition at the Mill Shop – walked northwards on the canal. He saw evidence of otter activity.

"Dr Paul Chanin, who is a Mammal Ecologist, is known internationally for his work on otters. He has conducted two national surveys on their habitats across Britain and has published two major works on the elusive animals."

Other reports of otters locally have been received and we understand a local Wildlife Trust has been studying otters by the canal near Audlem for some years.

Is there anybody who could confirm if Suzanne's suggestion is correct? If so, please contact Audlem Online.


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