Meet the star of this post, a super-chilled dog otter.
I have often wondered what would happen with a head-on encounter between otter and badger. I thought that the larger badger would have the edge if push came to shove. We have had records of both species using one structure for resting and far more recordings of badgers visiting otter holts to scent mark and scratch about, go in for a nosy about and generally leave their scent all over the place. So far, this doesn’t seem to have put off any otters from using holts although we haven’t analysed this fully yet. We have had many same species interactions but no direct otter-badger interactions until this rather funny footage. This structure is used as a rearing holt by a female and cubs. In the summer it has also been used as a loafing area by a sow badger and cubs. Badgers regularly check inside and urinate outside. This very chilled-out dog otter uses the holt for resting too and arrived at 1.16 am for a nocturnal nap. His snoozing was rudely interrupted and the result is quite surprising. I’ve never seen this species move at this speed before!
What happened next?
There were a few passes of otter in and out of the holt a bit later in the night, but the following morning a very relaxed otter leaves the holt. I can’t quite confirm that it is the same male from this clip, but I like to think that it is and that the badger was no big deal to the otter. Interestingly, we have quite a few records of nocturnal rests with otters emerging in the morning.