That snow otter

An otter in the snow. Just another day in Vancouver 🙂 I watched this otter for several minutes as it rolled and played in the snow, and was surprised at how close I was able to get.

I’ve seen otters a couple of times in False Creek – once I was able to get quite close to one munching away on a fish. I wouldn’t have seen this one had it not been for the nearby crows dive-bombing something at the water’s edge, hidden from view by the rocky embankment. Most people were just walking by, but the crows had me wandering over to take a closer look.

The otter and I saw each other at the same time. The crows fled and the otter dove beneath the water, coming up a few metres later for a moment before diving again and disappearing. I was kicking myself for being slow with the camera (and not having the faster-responding SLR), and thought that would be the last I saw of it. I watched it surface again around the corner and then it hauled out onto the snow-covered dock near the coastguard station. I took some (distant) video from here and then wondered how close I might be able to get.

As it turned out, much closer than I expected. I was able to walk along the dock almost to the last part where the otter was rolling in the snow. I stopped by one of the uprights and took more video and a few photos. It was only when my phone rang and I began speaking that the otter looked up, saw me and slunk off again into the water. A pretty good encounter in my books!

Here’s the final video:

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