Portrait of a British Otter

Tamar Otter Sanctuary

The Tamar Otter Sanctuary is probably the best kept secret in the world of Otter photography.  We only found out about the sanctuary through following wildlife photographer Tom Hadley on Twitter.  After seeing his wonderful photos, we decided we needed to visit this place for ourselves.

Situated a few miles outside of Launceston, this little gem of a wildlife centre turned out to be a real find.  Whilst it is primarily an Otter conservation and rehabilitation centre, it is also home to free roaming Fallow Deer, Muntjac Deer and Wallabies, as well as six species of Owl and a pair of Scottish Wildcats.

There are 2 species of Otter to be found here – the British and Asian Short Clawed Otters.

Tamar Otter swimming

The centre specialises in rehabilitating and releasing orphaned British Otters and have to date, done a fantastic job.  Currently, there are 10 British Otters and 9 Asian Short Claw Otters in residence.

The Asian Short Claw Otters are easily identifiable since they smell very strongly of fish!

Asian short clawed otter eating fish

The photographic opportunities afforded, especially during feeding time are simply phenomenal.

British otter holding a half eaten fish in his claws

Female british otter eating fish

It was a fantastic day out and the food in the coffee shop has to be commended.  Of course, you can always take your own sandwiches and sit at one of the picnic tables outside to eat, but be aware that you WILL attract all the Ducks, Geese, Peacocks, Silver Pheasants and Guinea Fowl!

Tamar Otter swimming in river

The Centre is funded by the income generated from visitors and all conservation and rehabilitation activities are funded from this income.  They receive no external funding so if you love Otters and fancy a day out with them, I really would recommend a visit to the Tamar Otter Sanctuary.  It really is worth a visit.

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