THE snow and ice may be causing misery all over the country but it didn’t stop this fun-loving otter coming in to Paisley town centre for a frolic in the River Cart.
Passers-by were stunned to see him swimming playfully in the stretch of water near Paisley Abbey and the town hall.
He was photographed by Buddie Chris Morrison, who just happened to take his camera out when he went for a walk on Sunday morning.
Chris, who lives in New Street, was tickled pink to see the otter and told us: “I was on my way out to the supermarket and took my video camera with me because it was a crisp winter morning and the light was so good. My plan was to take a video of the icy Cart starting to melt.
“I was taking footage of a duck that was sitting on the ice, and that’s where it all started.
“I saw the otter out of the corner of my eye at the stretch of water between the Town Hall and Abbey Bridge. Some of the footage was taken from the bridge and when people saw me filming they came over to see what was happening. They were amazed to see the otter.”
Otters have been recorded in every 10km by 10km square section of land in mainland Scotland. They’re widespread on the islands and have even been seen close to Glasgow city centre, but this is the first time most people will have heard about one visiting Paisley.
Adults can cover long distances at night in search of food, such as fish and frogs, and Chris thinks hunger is what brought this wee fella to town.
Chris, who has studied photography, said: “I think hunger maybe brought him into Paisley. He was unconcerned by the snow and was rolling about in it.
“He made his way off in the direction of the Hammills, under the bridge, and I just left it there because I thought he was going to go up a culvert.
“Hunger and the cold bring otters in to town centres. I have lived in Paisley for over 20 years and I have never seen one here. When I was taking my footage there was a man on the bridge with his two kids, and they were delighted to see the otter. Other people came for a look too. He was quite an attraction.”
In February last year, we published photographs Chris took of a little seal, who unexpectedly popped his head up from the River Cart near to Glasgow Airport.
Chris, who studied photography at Reid Kerr College and has an interest in birds and natural history, was only too pleased to share his otter photos with Paisley Daily Express readers.