Captive Otters

by Andrew Wakefield June. 04, 2017 1240 views

Following on from my previous blog about an encounter I had with wild Scottish otters on the Hebridean island of Tiree, I thought that it would be interesting to compare and contrast them with images of captive otters that I shot at the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey. I was trying to learn about the autofocusing capabilities of my camera and lens so I joined a hands on AF workshop led by Andy Rouse, to practice settings and skills in the enclosures.

So here is one of their three Eurasian otters. You can see how well fed they are compared to the wild ones which are living 'on the edge'. Its the same species by the way, just different habitat.

All four feet off the ground!

All four feet off the ground!

Despite their confinement, they were full of fun and there was plenty of action during the time we had with them.

The best point of view was definitely ground level, so we got down and dirty, and somewhat wet too.

The Otter and the fly

The Otter and the fly

Some swimming action

Some swimming action

I was also under observation

I was also under observation

seeing them swimming side on to me gave me an idea and I worked on it for the rest of the session and eventually it paid off.....................

My favourite shot of the day. I got wet doing this one!

So I think the differences between the wild and captive animals are clear to see in the two blogs I've just done. It's far more obvious with big cats and other animals which have large territories of course, and really goes to show the importance of preserving wildlife habitat in the future and giving all wild animals the space they need. Is that a forlorn hope?

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Heike 3 years, 4 months ago

Remarkable shots !

3 years, 4 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker 3 years, 4 months ago

You caught some wonderful pictures of the otters. Did you find Andy's autofocus course helpful? I went on it three years ago at the BWC and it changed the way I shoot!

3 years, 4 months ago Edited
Andrew Wakefield Replied to Helen Hooker 3 years, 4 months ago

Cheers Helen, yes it was very helpful indeed. It was an AF masterclass session booked through Foto-buzz. I have learned a lot about wildlife and other photography ever since joining (though I am constantly learning) and its a great community of enthusiastic and fun amateur photographers with regular meetups.

3 years, 4 months ago Edited
Caroline Hooper 3 years, 4 months ago

what a great comparison. I love the ground-level captures smile

3 years, 4 months ago Edited
Andrew Wakefield Replied to Caroline Hooper 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Caroline. I always get down to their level - you get so much better shots that way but its murder on your back!

3 years, 4 months ago Edited
Ram Ya 3 years, 4 months ago

They seem to be so playful and with lots of energy even in captivity. You are right, the survival instinct and mode is visible in the other post. 
#2 beautiful capture!

3 years, 4 months ago Edited
Andrew Wakefield Replied to Ram Ya 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Ram.

3 years, 4 months ago Edited
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