This month we had something quite unexpected on the camera. In the early morning of the 15th February,
a cape clawless otter was seen moving through a drainage line. This seemed strange to us as the Plains area in which it was caught on camera is so far from a perennial water body. After further research into the species, they can apparently inhabit still water as well as flowing water, however, they have never been documented in the dams on Lissataba but have been seen in the Olifants River. They also are crepuscular in their movements, mainly moving at dusk and dawn. The cape clawless otter is the second largest species of freshwater otter in the world.
Cape clawless otters are one of two otter species in South Africa, along with the spotted-necked otter. The cape clawless are apparently more amphibious than their cousins and so have better cross-country mobility and can move as far as 7km between water bodies. This information is helping us understand why such a species would be seen so far from a water source.