Otters Spotted on Scarborough Beach: A Rare and Delightful Sight
Scarborough Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, who enjoy its scenic views, sandy shores, and surfing waves. But recently, some lucky visitors got to witness a rare and delightful sight: a group of otters playing on the beach.
Rare sighting of otters on Scarborough beach, Cape Town
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Otters are elusive and shy animals that are not often seen by humans. They are usually active at dawn and dusk, and prefer to stay near water sources where they can hunt for fish, crabs, and other prey. They are also very social and live in family groups called holts.
The otters that were seen on Scarborough Beach belong to the Cape clawless otter species, which is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. They are the second-largest freshwater otter species in the world, after the giant otter of South America. They have thick fur that protects them from the cold water, and webbed feet that help them swim. They also have no claws on their front feet, hence their name.
The Cape clawless otter is considered near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to habitat loss, pollution, and human-wildlife conflict. They face threats from poaching, fishing nets, traps, and dogs. They also suffer from the declining quality and quantity of freshwater ecosystems in Africa.
Therefore, seeing these otters on Scarborough Beach was a rare and special occasion, that shows that there is still hope for their conservation. According to some witnesses, the otters seemed fearless and curious, and even approached some people on the beach. They also seemed to enjoy playing in the sand and water, and chasing each other around.
One of the witnesses was Matthew Swart, who captured some photos and videos of the otters on his phone. He said that he had lived in the area for 15 years, but had only seen single otters twice before. He described the encounter as a \"beautiful experience\" that he would never forget.
Why Otters are Amazing Animals
Otters are amazing animals that have many adaptations and behaviors that make them unique and fascinating. Here are some of the reasons why otters are so awesome:
Otters have thick fur that keeps them warm and dry in cold water. Their fur consists of two layers: an outer layer of guard hairs that repel water, and an inner layer of underfur that traps air and insulates them. They also have a layer of fat under their skin that provides extra warmth and buoyancy.
Otters have excellent senses of smell, hearing, and touch. They use their whiskers to detect vibrations and movements in the water, and their noses to locate prey and mates. They also have good eyesight, especially underwater, where they can see clearly up to 6 meters.
Otters are very agile and flexible. They can swim up to 12 km/h using their webbed feet and powerful tails. They can also dive up to 10 meters deep and stay underwater for up to 4 minutes. On land, they can run up to 18 km/h and climb trees and rocks with ease.
Otters are very intelligent and playful. They use tools such as rocks and shells to crack open hard-shelled prey such as crabs and mussels. They also engage in various games and activities with each other, such as sliding, wrestling, chasing, and grooming. They even have a sense of humor and can laugh when tickled.
Otters are very social and communicative. They live in family groups called holts, which consist of a female, her offspring, and sometimes a male. They communicate with each other using a variety of vocalizations, such as chirps, whistles, growls, snorts, and screams. They also use scent markings to mark their territories and convey information.
What to Do and See on Scarborough Beach
Scarborough Beach is not only a great place to see otters, but also a wonderful destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Here are some of the things you can do and see on Scarborough Beach:
Enjoy the scenic views and the fresh air. Scarborough Beach is located on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, offering stunning views of the ocean and the mountains. The beach is also surrounded by natural vegetation and wildlife, such as birds, baboons, and antelopes. You can relax on the sand, take a walk along the shore, or watch the sunset.
Surf the waves or kite surf. Scarborough Beach is known for its excellent surfing conditions, with consistent waves and strong winds. You can bring your own surfboard or rent one from a local shop. You can also try kite surfing, which is a thrilling sport that combines surfing and flying a kite. There are several kite surfing schools and instructors on the beach that can teach you the basics.
Explore the rock pools or snorkel. Scarborough Beach has many rock pools that are filled with marine life, such as starfish, sea urchins, crabs, and fish. You can explore them with a bucket and a net, or just observe them with your eyes. You can also snorkel in the shallow water and see more underwater creatures.
Visit the nearby attractions. Scarborough Beach is close to many other attractions that are worth visiting, such as Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, where you can see hundreds of African penguins; Cape Point, where you can see the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian oceans; and South African Naval Museum, where you can learn about the history and heritage of the South African Navy.
How to Protect and Conserve Otters and Their Habitat
Otters are amazing animals that play an important role in the ecosystem. They help to control the population of their prey, such as crabs and fish, and also act as indicators of water quality and biodiversity. However, otters are also facing many threats from human activities, such as habitat loss, pollution, poaching, fishing nets, traps, and dogs. Therefore, it is essential to protect and conserve otters and their habitat for the benefit of both nature and humans.
Here are some of the ways you can help to protect and conserve otters and their habitat:
Support otter conservation organizations and projects. There are many organizations and projects that work to protect and conserve otters and their habitat, such as the International Otter Survival Fund, the African Wildlife Foundation, and the Cape Clawless Otter Project. You can support them by donating money, volunteering your time, or spreading awareness.
Respect otters and their habitat. If you encounter otters in the wild, keep a safe distance and do not disturb them. Do not feed them or try to touch them. Do not litter or pollute their habitat. Do not buy or sell otter products, such as fur or meat.
Report any illegal or suspicious activities. If you see any illegal or suspicious activities involving otters or their habitat, such as poaching, trapping, fishing nets, or dogs, report them to the authorities or conservation organizations. You can also take photos or videos as evidence.
Educate yourself and others about otters and their conservation. Learn more about otters and their conservation by reading books, articles, websites, or watching documentaries. Share your knowledge and passion with others, especially children. Encourage others to appreciate and respect otters and their habitat.
Scarborough Beach is a beautiful and peaceful place that offers a rare and delightful sight of otters. Otters are amazing animals that have many adaptations and behaviors that make them unique and fascinating. They also play an important role in the ecosystem and need our protection and conservation. By visiting Scarborough Beach and following the tips and advice in this article, you can enjoy the otters and their habitat, and also help to preserve them for the future. d282676c82