River otter - Don River
Outdoor Ontario

River otter - Don River

Dr. John

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We were on another one of our evening walks up the Don River when we spied a river otter on a log on the opposite bank.  It returned to searching around in the river for food, occasionally coming up and chomping on something.  It also periodically raised its head high up to stare at us.


I know river otters are in the Toronto area, but I have never seen one in the city in my lifetime and certainly didn't expect to see one in the Don River.  I'm curious if anyone else has seen them in Toronto recently.


Ally

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We were on another one of our evening walks up the Don River when we spied a river otter on a log on the opposite bank.  It returned to searching around in the river for food, occasionally coming up and chomping on something.  It also periodically raised its head high up to stare at us.


I know river otters are in the Toronto area, but I have never seen one in the city in my lifetime and certainly didn't expect to see one in the Don River.  I'm curious if anyone else has seen them in Toronto recently.


Otter?! Wow! I want to meet him!


Axeman

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I struggled with replying b/c I hate when I reply and then my respond stands as the last reply for months...especially when I have replied on both wildlife categories...sigh...BUT...I had no idea that there were otters in the GTA and I wanted to say that I was thrilled to hear this...waaaay cool!


Shortsighted

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There is an article in the weekend star about a chap who has spent several years investigating all reports of otters within the GTA and has not located even one, although to my mind a single otter is even rarer. They are usually in pairs. Some of the photos sent to him by people reporting an otter were actually photos of mink and the submitters didn't take kindly to being informed of the true ID. Some credible photos were submitted and represented sightings at TTP. I've seen a pair in the Rouge area and were technically within the boundary of the GTA because the water was a hundred feet west of the Pickering/Scarborough boundary road. The water level was very high at the time ... higher than I've ever seen it. They made their appearance as quickly moving waves in the otherwise still water. Eventually each otter raised its head above the surface of the water. I only had a 135mm lens and therefore could not do them justice.Have not seen an otter since then. Of course now I don't see anything because I can't go out, but that's an otter story.;
 


Dinusaur

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Yep, I read the Star article and quite disheartened to hear about not finding a river otter in Toronto area. Funnily, the article mentioned that TRCA is thinking of removing some animal species from the list as they aren't seen any more in Toronto.


Dr. John

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I actually have a very poor image - my camera was on the video setting instead of the photo setting.  The still at the beginning of the video clearly shows it is an otter.  If this person (or anyone else) wants proof, I could certainly provide it if I knew where to send it.  I've seen plenty of otters in Muskoka and places further north, so I'm 100% about the ID.


Unfortunately we have returned to the same area multiple times and have not seen it again.


Shortsighted

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You could submit the proof, if you feel so inclined, by contacting the Star. I could get up and check the paper again but then I would need to get up from my X-chair. It's not a genuine X-chair, just a chair marked with an "X" using gaffer's tape ... the poor man's X-chair, if you will. I know what you mean about only having video evidence providing poor resolution. I shot a fisher once hauling a salmon out of the water and I just happen to be on video mode with a Canon G-9. I didn't yet own a DSLR at the time. I rarely take videos because it is just so pretentious. Mind you, had I taken a photo I would still not have enough reach and resolution (R&R) to capture a meaningful shot. It had the snout of a fisher, way to big for a mink, and certainly not an otter. It jumped from the bank and hauled the salmon out of the water. There was a guy fishing nearby and realized that his technique was decidedly less successful than the the other mammal's approach.


Dinusaur

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The Toronto Star reporter who wrote that piece is Celina Gallardo (cgallardo@thestar.com). In the story she talked about Andrew Budziak who has been searching for River Otter in Toronto, in vain, since 2012. I am sure Andrew will be very happy to hear about John's sighting. Contacting Celina is probably the best way to get the info to the people who will appreciate it very much. Let us know if you hear anything back.


Shortsighted

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Lucky to have Dinu in our midst to bring a sense of urgency and purpose to the forum. He obviously does not have an X-chair and doesn't know the meaning of lazy. I remember being like that. OK, I barely remember.


Dr. John

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The Toronto Star reporter who wrote that piece is Celina Gallardo (cgallardo@thestar.com). In the story she talked about Andrew Budziak who has been searching for River Otter in Toronto, in vain, since 2012. I am sure Andrew will be very happy to hear about John's sighting. Contacting Celina is probably the best way to get the info to the people who will appreciate it very much. Let us know if you hear anything back.


Thanks.  Will do.


Shortsighted

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I'll be impressed if your inquiry and contribution will make it to Mr. Budziak in a timely fashion. By all means let us know the outcome. I found two frames of the just inside the GTA sighting and the metadata indicates that it occurred on June 18th, 2014. Too long ago to really matter now. I posted it before and offer it again:


Dr. John

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I found the website for Andrew Budziak and directly emailed him, including the video snippet of the otter.  However I have not heard back from him.