Cork’s playful urban otters have been making the most of the deserted city
They’re masters at social distancing.
But while most of us are avoiding the city centre during the Covid-19 lockdown, Cork’s otters have been making the most of the quiet waterways.
Eagle-eyed members of the public have caught glimpses of the secretive urban otters as they hunt for fish in the river and play along the quays and river banks.
This is terrible footage but it’s proof that I saw an otter in the city centre on Saturday evening. I damaged my camera trying to film this so you much look at it even though it sucks. The trail of bubbles at the end of clip are from the air being squeezed out of its fur. #cork pic.twitter.com/elJ5dYObHf
— The River Bride (@ChrisMoodyDraws) April 20, 2020
The Irish word for otter is ‘madra uisce’ or ‘water dog’ but you won’t find them seeking out the attention of passers-by.
Keep an eye on the water from the city’s bridges (the Nano Nagle footbridge on Sullivan’s Quay is a good spot, as is the weir at Parliament Bridge and the boardwalk in front of the Clayton Hotel) and you might spot one dipping beneath the surface of the water or scrambling onto an embankment.
Terrible pics but spotted an otter under Nano Nagle Bridge in Cork City Centre! pic.twitter.com/ftPzwnykBH
— Eoghan (@Cowa19942) April 19, 2020
The Cork Otters Facebook page, run by Cork Nature Network, has been sharing sightings of the Eurasian otter in their feed. You can check that out here.
If you live in the city centre and the river falls within 2km of your home, you can also take part in Cork Nature Network’s Cork Otter trail.
Here’s a handy map:
Main image: Louise Harrington, Facebook/corkotter