Playful, exuberant and just plain fun, featured here are three of my favourite animal species playing. So why do they engage in these exuberant displays – what do they gain or do they do it just because it feels good? All the scenes exude good humour – a relaxed sense of just goofing around. It was a delight to watch all their antics. Play benefits healthy development of young animals both physically and mentally – helping them to get to grips with their spacial environment and building up dexterity and strength.
Otters are playful creatures and this morning we awoke to their calls and banter. With pure delight we watched as they ducked and dived through the water, came romping along the rocky beach and plunged into the fresh water well.
This month I’ve joined Jude’s photography challenge. The subject is wildlife in the garden, which is ‘right up my street’. The urban/wildlife interface here between mountain and sea is pretty active with a range of wildlife visitors – from the smallest of critters such as baby field mice to baboon, otter and porcupine … dassies, mongoose, genet.
Night noises can sometimes be quite unsettling. A high-pitched wailing sounded eerie and threatening: the Cape clawless otters had arrived in dynamic form. Their squealing sounded full of quest. We’re guessing that they are the young adults from the family group which range this section of the coast. What a rumpus as they called through the night, but it bodes well to know that they are back as the vegetation sheltering their holt was partially destroyed in the recent fire.
We had a lucky to sighting in the morning as they made they way back to the water.
Early dawn and the light was still low so I’m happy to have captured this tender moment. I ramped up the ISO, set a high shutter speed and hoped for the best. It’s never easy to photograph these shy Cape clawless otters as they are skittish, not hanging around when they sight humans. On occasion I’ve managed to leopard crawl to a close vantage point, but not this time – they were onto me seconds later and gracefully disappeared into the water.