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30 March 2020 - Karma is released back to the wild

Submitted by: Grace

The weather was perfect, sunny and with clear blue skies, as the box carrying Karma was carried down to the shore at Duncraig.

It was just over a year since we found her as a tiny cub crying among the bushes. We always advise people to leave cubs to allow the mother to return but there was no sign her and as it was getting dark and freezing we took her back to the hospital. She was such a tiny thing that she would never have lasted the night.

Karma cub

Paul and I had been planning a different walk that day but for some reason changed our minds and went near Duncraig. When I mentioned this to our Sri Lankan friend Padma she told me it was Karma as we wouldn’t have found her otherwise, so that became her name.

Karma was ready to go a couple of months ago but as it was the middle of winter she had to wait until the weather improved.

And the time had come. She had grown into a beautiful strong otter and was ready to take her place in the wild. She was rather unsure of what was outside the carrying box and took a while to come out and explore the shore and the water. She waited until she felt there was no-one around and then set off.

Karma release

The release site was perfect, with plenty of vegetation where she can lie up and make her own holt and there is plenty of prey for her in the coastal waters.

Thanks to Suzanne, Duncan and Charlie from Duncraig Castle for permission to release her back in her home and for promising to keep an eye on her as she adapts to her new environment.

There is a short video which we will be posting as soon as we can so watch this space.

24 March 2020 - How the virus is affecting IOSF

Submitted by: Grace

Of course, people worldwide are worried about the rapid spread of the virus and the huge risk it poses to people's health.

Here on Skye we haven't had any confirmed cases yet but we are also worried that it could be brought in.

Of course, our care for the otters will never stop and at the present time we have plenty of fish to feed them. But this could become a problem as the boats aren't going out. But rest assured, we will always find ways to feed them.

From the office point of view this will be manned in the morning and in the afternoon we will work from home. The answerphone gives an alternative number where we can be contacted.

We continue to support people worldwide working with otters and as far as possible we will carry on as normal but just at a distance.

17 March 2020 - Otter Webcam

Submitted by: Grace

You have probably noticed that our live webcam was down for a while. This was due to a storm destroying the electrical connection.

Thanks to Dougi and Aodhan this is now back up and running.

Click on the image below to see what the cubs are up to now:

Otter Webcam

And to give you a taster of what you may see click here to see a short video taken from the webcam.

17 March 2020 - All change at the Otter Shop

Submitted by: Helen

Get ready...
Big changes are coming with the IOSF Otter Shop.

We are moving platform later this afternoon (UK time 17/03/2020)so if you experience any problems please bear with us. It could take up to 24 hours but hopefully will be less. We appreciate your patience.

Please call in and take a look.
You will still find us at

New Otter Shop

12 March 2020 - More news of Mboo

Submitted by: Grace

Rita has been giving Mboo swimming lessons

Mboo swimming

Not sure how much he enjoyed it - this photo seems to say "you're not getting me in there again!!"

Mboo surprised

05 March 2020 - Otters have a new Species Champion

Submitted by: Grace

On Saturday 22 February, we were delighted to welcome Scotland’s new Otter Species Champion, MSP Kate Forbes, as she announced her new role. Otters were
previously unrepresented under the Scottish Government’s Species Champion scheme but Ullapool Sea Savers Poppy Lewis-Ing, who is the group’s otter ambassador, worked hard to get an otter champion and MSP Kate Forbes gladly took this on.

Kate Forbes MSP, Otter Champion small

And here is our latest cub, Sparky, who came to us from Arisaig. He really does fit his name as he is a really fiery character, even though he looks very cute and innocent in the photo!

Sparky small

You can read more about all of this in our latest e-update here

01 March 2020 - Children's Art Competition

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF is delighted to announce the start of the IOSF Children's Artwork Competition for this year.

Kids Art Competition small

The competition will run until Friday 22 May, with winners announced on IOSF World Otter Day (27 May).

We are accepting entries in two separate age groups:

Under 10 years of age
Aged 11-16

Entries are accepted from all over the world and in the past we have had winners from various countries including Guatemala and the USA. The picture also has to have an otter in it - of course!

To enter all you have to do is:

Email entries to


Post your entries to Ben Yoxon, International Otter Survival Fund, 7 Black Park, Broadford, Isle of Skye, IV499DE

Whichever way you choose to enter all entries must include name, email address, postal address and age of participants.

Winners can choose one of a number of prizes on offer including:

Soft cuddly otter toy
A copy of "Otters of the World"
Otter Shrinkles
IOSF knitted hat

Time to get drawing!


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