[Tweeters] River otter(s) confirmed at Pilling's Pond and Green Lake

ka7mcx at juno.com ka7mcx at juno.com
Tue Oct 13 14:30:50 PDT 2009

Dave Kunkle, owner of Pilling's Pond, recently reported that a "full-size" river otter had killed at least twenty of his birds in June. This included twelve Mandarins, four Mallards, one Pintail, one Redhead and his female European Shell Duck. He chased the critter away the next evening, then screened the pond's outlet as this was the direction in which the otter headed. He later spotted two smaller otters who likely came downstream from Licton Mineral Springs. He then screened the inlet. He estimates otters killed more than forty birds from June through the third week of September.

Friends had recently told me of two separate sightings of a river otter in Green Lake. Yesterday (Monday) I noticed something swimming between the turtle logs. I was able to get three quick pictures as the otter climbed onto the nearest log, then dove off in just a few seconds. (I recently lost my photo-editing software in a hard drive failure, but can email the unedited files to anyone who is interested.)

There is no way to prove any connection, but Dave expressed grave concern for the birds at Green Lake when he heard about the otter sightings there. River otters are not a protected species in Washington and may be legally trapped by a licensed trapper.

John - NE Seattle

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