Otters play on the Avon as humans stay home

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Tracey's photo of the otters at play near the RSC

Dolphins have been swimming in Venice, goats have gathered in Llandudno – and now Stratford has its own wildlife in lockdown as otters arrive in the Avon. As river traffic has disappeared, otters have been spotted on the banks of the river near the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Herald reader Tracey Theo spotted three otters as she took her daily walk from her Old Town home. She said: “I was just walking the dog on the RSC side of river, past the ferry on my right, and was truly amazed to spot the otters. I’d never seen any in real life. I got close enough to take photos and they didn’t seem to be worried at all. Even the dog was quiet and didn’t budge.

“I was quite emotional and humbled to know these beautiful wild animals had let us be part of their world. They definitely outshone the swans that day.”

A spokesperson for the Canals and Rivers Trust said otters had recovered from a very low point, adding: “They now occupy large areas of the Midlands waterways, but are still absent from those waterways that are of poor water quality or suffer from pollution incidents. Otters are the green flag of our environment, indicating a healthy ecosystem, and are very much part of our waterways.”