Long sleek brown body and tail. Much bigger than a mink (only similar species in the UK) at 100 - 115cm long. They have webbed feet for swimming, and can stay underwater for up to 3 minutes. They have no natural predators in the UK, but were once heavily persecuted by game keepers, numbers are recovering and it was announced earlier this year (2011) that there are now otters back in every county of England! They are inquisitive, and playful, but can be very shy of humans - often disappearing long before you appear to leave only a spraint (faeces) pugs (foot prints) or the remnants of their meal.
Rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, coastal areas.
This individual is eating a butterfish (one the otters preferred prey species in the Shetland islands)