When I was about ten years old I had an encounter I will never forget. My family and I were on the beach in Kleinmond, a tiny town about an hour-and-a-half outside Cape Town on the East coast. A fresh water river known as the Palmiet makes its way into the ocean and the river mouth is characterised by reeds and little rocky outcrops before reaching the sandy beach. It was on this occasion as we strolled alongside the ocean at dusk, that a flash of movement caught our eyes. Initially we thought it was someone’s domestic dog but on a closer look, a young otter was inquisitively coming closer. For about ten minutes we watched this incredible little creature run up from the surf and then back again to the comfort of the water. It was spectacular! More than fifteen years later, although many tracks observed, I have yet to see another otter and yes, I am longing to see another one!
The Cape Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) is the species we find here at Londolozi and we occasionally see their tracks along the Sand River. Sightings however are rare which has put me onto a self-appointed challenge: to get a picture of one with our camera trap. I set the camera up in the Sand River near Plaque rock and hoped for the best. On collection I sifted through hundreds of pictures and although no otter this time, the trap did manage to capture a great selection. I especially enjoyed being able to observe a genet’s nightly movements and the low-angle vantage point resulted in some really interesting shots.
I have now set the camera trap in a different part of the river so keep fingers crossed and stay tuned for the follow up blog.
Written and captured by: Andrea Campbell, Londolozi Ranger
Read part one and part two of Andrea’s Camera Trap series.
Filed under Wildlife
Interesting to see the what animals get caught on the camera. Great footage of the genet with a kill. Saw a otter once standing on the high level bridge over the Olifants river in Kruger. It was right underneath us in the reeds. We could observe it without disturbing it.
Can’t wait to see the otter when you catch it’s image.
Look forward to more Camera Trap shots. I remember Plaque Rock and a hippo last time we visited.
I also remember the river otters as my favorite exhibit at the Kansas City Zoo in the 1950s. It’s all about the Southern Sea Otter now that we are in CA.
I love seeing the different animals you capture in your camera trap images Andrea. Great shot of the Genet! I would love to see one some day. Hopefully you’ll capture an image of an Otter one day soon!
These are great! I really enjoy the hidden camera shots because you never know what you will see! I look forward to the next set of pictures!!