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The Norfolk Broads Forum / General Chat / Dead otter on the A47?
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Dead otter on the A47?

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plesbit
Nov-15-2006 @ 4:09 PM                           Permalink
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The morning Acle straight "clog" started right back at the Acle roundabout this morning so I got more opportunity than usual to study the plentiful roadkill (and the amount of it on this road is about the highest I have seen in this country).

Just about 20-30m along the A47 from the roundabout was a dead something, unlike any roadkill I have previously seen.  As I got to stop right beside it for the best part of a minute I got a good look at it, or rather, what was left of it.  It had a large mouth with big teeth and was dark brown - it was also very large.  I don't really know what a weasel looks like but I do know people whose cats have caught and killed weasels but this was much, much too big for that, easily bigger than a cat.  The only thing I could think of at the time was an otter but since then it occurred to me it could have been a mink - another animal about which I know next to nothing.  Having therefore spent a good deal of office time Googling about mink I am now just more confused.

Anyone know what it was more likely to be (or indeed see it themselves)?  I don't know if there are any otters in that area but it seemed rather large, even for a mink.

Simon

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woodwose
Nov-15-2006 @ 5:27 PM                           Permalink
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It probably was an otter. We are seeing more and more of them.

Nigel
Ludham

JennyMorgan
Nov-15-2006 @ 5:52 PM                           Permalink
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Only one?

Jenny Morgan,
Go to:
http://www.broads-nav.com/aims.html

TheCommodore
Nov-15-2006 @ 6:01 PM                           Permalink
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As a retired ratcatcher of this parish may I offer the following?

You emphasise it's bigness. Badgers are really big.

Meles meles, body 26"-34", tail 4"-8", weight 20-40 lbs

This one was roadkill outside my house last year

Geof


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TheCommodore
Nov-15-2006 @ 6:07 PM                           Permalink
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The otter, Lutra lutra, is 20-48" body length plus 10-22" of tail, weighs between 13-38lbs

It has webbed feet and a strong pointed tail

Geof


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TheCommodore
Nov-15-2006 @ 6:11 PM                           Permalink
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Mink, Mustela vison, are small by comparison, body length 12-18", tail 5-9" and weigh between 2.5 - 4.5lbs

Geof


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TheCommodore
Nov-15-2006 @ 6:17 PM                           Permalink
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It almost certainly was not a weasel, Mustela nivalis,these are tiny.
Body length 5-12", tail 1 - 2.5" and weigh between 1.5 - 6 ozs

Hope this is helpful. If it was really big and well mangled my money is on a badger. They do get dirty and can look brown all over.

Geof


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plesbit
Nov-15-2006 @ 8:14 PM                           Permalink
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Definitely not a badger.

It was hard to get the size because there was not a great deal of the body left but the head, which was upside down, mouth open and showed a fearful set of teeth was quite distinct.  I could tell it was much too big to be a weasel (wrong colour too) but was a similar looking animal.  I guessed it to be about the size of cat (perhaps bigger), though reading a little more on mink suggests that they are quite a bit smaller than a cat.  However, looking at pictures of otters I am now fairly sure it was a mink, perhaps a large one, but a mink nonetheless.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Simon

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JamesLons
Nov-15-2006 @ 10:20 PM                           Permalink
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Thats a nice picture of a badger you went out your way to get that didnt you looks like it's in your garden must have been an off road job  Wink

james



TheCommodore
Nov-16-2006 @ 10:41 AM                           Permalink
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Off-road? Quite right! We moved him from where he lay as he could have caused another accident.

We posed him for the picture and then buried him in the woods. 12 hours later something had dug him up and there was no sign of him!

Arrrgh! the Badger-snatchers strike again!

Geof

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