On Monday, Kerr was released to the wild - an early birthday present for Paul!
We had a lovely freshwater location for him and Paul opened the door
There was a bit of "shall I, shan't I" as he peered out of the release box.
But then he was into the water and away. Can you spot him behind the reddish-brown stone?
After that he disappeared into the water and came up about 10m away. We watched for a while as he explored his new home and then left him quietly to get on with his life.
We need further action to prevent the proposed otter cull so we would ask you to write to your MEPs.
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and enter your postcode - this will take you to a page where you can write your letter.
You may like to write your own, but alternatively please feel free to cut and paste the letter below:
Proposed Otter Cull in Lower Austria
I do not know if you are aware but the authorities in Lower Austria have given permission for a cull of 40 otters. And yet otters are protected under the European Union Fauna and Flora Habitat Directive but Austria seems to be willing to ignore this legislation.
This action is in response to appeals from fishermen stating that there are too many otters. I believe the numbers given for that part of Austria is 800 but we have seen no survey results to show on what this figure is based. Most surveys are done using spraint (droppings) but this cannot be used to give actual numbers and unless detailed DNA work has been done it is impossible to quote population figures.
Otters are still recovering all over Europe from the disastrous drop in the mid 20th century. There is a lot of mis-information in the media that otter numbers are now high, but there is no evidence to show that; although otters are being seen in more areas, there may not actually be significantly more animals. It is well known that prey availability has been reduced and suitable habitat has been lost. How do we know that animals do not now have to travel further to gain sufficient food?
The repercussions of this action are widespread. It will affect otter populations in neighbouring areas both within Austria and across borders into countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia and probably also into Hungary. But it will also have far wider effects on countries, as fishermen will take this as a precedent for similar action to be taken in other areas – there have already been calls for a cull in England.
Such a cull will not work. New otters will just move in to vacant territories and the problem will continue. People in the fisheries need to keep otters out and there has been a considerable amount of work done on how this can be achieved.
I should be grateful if you would raise this matter at the European Parliament on my behalf. As the cull could start soon the matter is urgent.
Last summer Geranda received two young cubs and now they are looking so "grown up".
They are doing really well and Geranda is starting to think about the time when they can be released back to the wild.
You can read more about them and also all our latest news in our latest e-update