River otter spotted cruising Saanich Road

Meat eating otters will seek out cat food

A Saanich Pound officer responded to a river otter that was spotted cruising Saanich Road on Wednesday afternoon.

Spotting river otters near Swan Lake is not uncommon, as the spunky carnivore will roam in search of food.

“The otter found its way back to Swan Lake,” said Saanich Police Sgt. Jereme Leslie.

Though the initial call-in mistook the animal as a sea otter, Swan Lake nature sanctuary program manager

Renee Cenerini said it was likely a river otter.

“There are river otters at Swan Lake but there is zero chance of it being a sea otter,” Cenerini said. “We see them at Swan Lake, hunting and going after ducks.”

River otters use water ways to move around the region. Cenerini has seen them in different locations, such as the side of the highway.

This one may have been sidetracked as the otters use Blenkinsop Creek (underneath the Swan Lake, Lochside trestle) to travel up to Blenkinsop Lake, Cenerini said.

“They are adventurous and very motivated for food, they eat fish, ducklings and are known to visit backyards in search of cat food,” Cenerini said. “Duckling season is near, but not here yet.”

Fish in Swan Lake are a mix of the introduced Pumpkinseed sunfish and the native three-spine stickleback.

 

A spunky river otter native to Swan Lake was spotted cruising Saanich Road on Wednesday afternoon. CRD website

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