Otter Swims Really Far, Amazes Experts

An otter has survived a “perilous” three-mile sea crossing to the Farne Islands for the first time, the National Trust has said.

The animal, more commonly found in rivers, has swum from the coast of Northumberland despite rough seas.

Head warden David Steel said he was stunned to find 60 yards of otter tracks on Brownsman Island, which is famed for its bird colonies.

The mammal has not yet been sighted, but it is thought to be still there.



  1. #1 eddie
    November 22, 2008

    I was looking for pictures of otters to compare the sea otter with its smaller cousin, that normally doesn’t leave rivers and I found this;

    Please forward to prof. Orzel.

  2. #2 Peter Mc
    November 22, 2008

    I’ve seen an otter lolloping along my local beach (about 50 miles south of the Farne Islands), which is six sea miles from a river of any size. Otters do special things on this coast, according to St Bede, Saint Cuthbert (for reasons best known to himself) spent a night praying in the sea and at dawn waded ashore and:

    “began to pray again. Whilst he was doing this, two quadrupeds, called otters, came up from the sea, and, lying down before him on the sand, breathed upon his feet, and wiped them with their hair after which, having received his blessing, they returned to their native element.”

    We have smart otters here: if they can dry a saint they can swim a measly three miles.

  3. #3 Moderately Unbalanced Squid
    November 22, 2008

    I always thought that river otters would regularly swim a few miles at sea to get from river to river. Is this really surprising, or is this just Mr. Steele and the journalist getting surprised at something not really surprising about otters?

  4. #4 Charlotte
    November 23, 2008

    I think it’s more the currents than the distance that makes this unusual – and possibly navigation as well. I was 5 last time I went to the Farne Islands, but I seem to remember they’re in open sea. Everthing looked bigger then, of course 🙂