They say you can judge the water quality of a river by the diversity of the wildlife on it. This photograph taken last week by John Ready, Bennettsbridge shows an otter on the Kilkenny city side of the bridge in Bennettsbridge.
It is a really good sign of water quality and it means that this fella and his two friends, making up a romp of otters, have plenty to eat. They probably come from Ballyreddin, nearer Kilkenny city and it was here that a young otter was found in the garden of house last autumn. Pat Durkin of Birdwatch Ireland told the Kilkenny People that the national Wildlife Service was contacted and that the pup was taken to the wildlife sanctuary in Kerry where he is coming on well and will be released back into the wild where he was found later this year.
Where ever you see otters, you won’t see mink, the invasive species from North America that seem to kill indiscriminately. They wont mess with otters who can be dangerous when cornered.
There seems to be a lot of otters around and there are two otter holts (dens) in the city, one at Maudlin Street and the other at Riverside Drive.