Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Otter Spotter

We often see the tracks of the Cape Clawless Otter on our beach. The only sight we have of the otters themselves is when they are hanging back in the waves, waiting for walkers and dogs to leave so that they can dash in from the sea, scamper across the beach and dive into some hidden spot which they call home.

Just around the corner from our village is a river which runs through a much more heavily populated township. The pollution of the Bokramspruit River has an impact on this elusive creature.  The river starts at the top of town, at the foot of the mountain and flows down through town in canals which are polluted with all manner of unspeakables. It then flows under the Main Road and through on to  Kommetjie village and finally, into the sea. The otters are affected by eating crabs which ate worms which ate a bit of polluted muck. Another cause of death to otters in the area is that of speeding cars hitting them in the poor light of early morning or evening.

Its a shame I cannot persuade Mad Dog and Englishman to take the camera with them on their regular coastal walks. The cellphone is not a great tool. Nevertheless, you can see what they spotted this week.


  1. So special. When we were living at Imhoff's Gift, we very occasionally saw them in the Wildevoelvlei. /my children and I did a water quality study on the Bokraamspruit and found that in Spite of the very polluted water upstream, the reeds did a great job of filtering out a lot of the pollutants and the water was a lot healthier lower down as it passed under Wireless Road, supporting frogs and dragonflies.

    Reading your post brought back lovely memories of early mornings in my favourite place, that beautiful beach.

  2. I know what you mean about the place. Its very difficult to even think about prying oneself away from here one day. Mad Dog and Englishman walk from Soetwater back home to old Schusterskraal once or twice a week, after I drop them off on my way to work in Kommetjie. They do come across extraordinary sights sometimes.