At the depths of their decline in the 1970s, healthy populations could only be found in Scottish strongholds beyond the reach of harmful pesticides.
Even before their dramatic population problem, the elusive mammals were rarely glimpsed – but a starring role on the silver screen in 1969 film Ring of Bright Water opened many people’s eyes and hearts to the animals.
After decades of dedicated work to clean up our waterways, conservationists recently celebrated their return to every county in England and the chances of spotting an otter have now vastly improved.
The success of Ring of Bright Water worked wonders for a species that until then had been regarded as vermin. Otters were illegally persecuted by fishermen and hunted with specially bred otter hounds until the practice was finally banned in 1981.
Like many other creatures at the top of…
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