Oh, just a baby river otter.
How did we come to possess a baby otter, you ask? I’m still scratching my head over that one.
Yesterday, a young boy came to the camp with the otter. I believe the boy would only tell us what he thought we wanted to hear, and therefore it’s impossible to know the whole story. I fear someone dug the little pup out of a hole near the river, when mining for gold, and took it away from its mother. The pup is extremely young and obviously will not live without constant care. Alastair said it would be killed if we didn’t take it so we gave the boy a little money in exchange.
We’ve been trying to find out what we can about African river otters. Alastair believes that we can rear it and then let it go back in the river at a less vulnerable age. Right now the pup has to be fed by a bottle and kept in a warm place. Otters apparently stay with their mother longer than most mammals and also can be blind for up to five weeks.
The pup was alert and screaming for his mother when he first arrived but ever since we gave him a little bed and some milk, he’s been curled up in a sleeping ball.
He is very cute.
Alastair named him Tarka. Tarka the Otter.