VIDEO: Otter spotted in Brigsley could be behind koi carp deaths
WAS this crafty otter responsible for killing tens of koi carp in Waltham?
The creature was captured on film creeping across Ian Stark's garden at his home in Waltham Road, Brigsley.
Mr Stark was shocked – and thrilled – by the bold sighting of the usually elusive creature and sent in his video, which can be viewed on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk.
And he believes the otter could be to blame for the scores of koi carp recently killed at Millstone's Garden Centre, in Waltham.
30% off on our collection range and other selected fabrics. alternatively call 809887 and we will bring our samples to you for our friendly hassle free quote.
Contact: 01472 809887
Valid until: Saturday, July 13 2013
As reported, Tom Rutherford, the owner of the Cheapside centre, sent out a warning to pond keepers to beware of otters who he believed were feeding on his koi carp, valued between £50 and £100 each.
Until Mr Stark who, like Mr Rutherford, lives about 900 metres away from Waithe Beck, saw the footage, he did not believe that otters live in the area, but now he is convinced they are to blame.
And he is reluctant to restock his pond after 100 of his own carp went missing.
He said: "At the time, I thought they must be herons. I didn't believe there were otters in the area and would ridicule the idea when people told me. So when I caught one on camera I couldn't believe it.
"I was amazed, and in some ways thrilled to see it, but then I realised that it is probably responsible for where mine and Mr Rutherford's fish have gone."
Otters are protected by the EC Habitats Directive after being hunted to the brink of extinction and killed off by polluted water.
They are shy creatures and not often seen by people, other than a flash of their long tails in the water or grassland.
And when people believe they have spotted an otter it is often nothing more than a common mink, which are much more common and brazen than their timid look-a-likes. But now numbers are increasing, and so are the sightings, but there is nothing authorities can do to stop them feeding on fish on private land.
"We have three small ponds and one big one and there are also commercial fisheries in the area," Mr Stark continued.
"If we are not careful, all the fish will go. I accept they are a protected species and they are very special creatures, but at the same time I would love to restock my ponds.
"I don't see the point just to feed the local otter population, they will just keep doing the rounds and eating them again.
"If the otter population keeps increasing before we know it, it will be the fish that are endangered!"
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust spokesperson Rachel Shaw confirmed the creature was an otter.
She said: "We are sympathetic to the frustrations of anglers and people with fish ponds affected by otter predation. Life can be very hard for these creatures, so when they find a fish pond it is like someone who hasn't eaten for days going into a free supermarket.
"You would want to eat and try everything.
"It looks outrageous behaviour to us, but for the animal they have come across a well-stocked food source."