A couple were stunned after discovering that an otter had feasted on their cherished goldfish – having initially believed that a heron or a neighbour’s cat had devoured their beloved pets.
Tony, 54, and Sharon Gardiner, 50, were left heartbroken when they discovered that goldfish Reggie and Ronnie, named after the Kray Twins, had been killed.
But after fortifying the garden ponds to protect remaining fish Fred and Wilma, their efforts proved in vain when the otter returned to finish off the pair, having slipped through a protective wire mesh.
Tony, a self-employed builder, said: ‘I have a raised pond and on Saturday morning about half past seven a neighbour was walking his dog and shouted “there’s an otter in your garden”.
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‘I must have startled it. Me and my neighbour tried to catch it but it was too slippery and it shot off. It seems like it has been terrorising the entire housing estate and clearing out people’s fish ponds.
‘I’ve never seen an otter on a housing estate. I think he keeps coming back until he knows there are no fish left.’
Sharon, meanwhile, has taken a more sympathetic approach – and contacted the RSPCA after the Otter appeared to have an injured eye.
‘I have named the otter Oscar. It just trips off the tongue’, she said.
It is believed the otter may have trekked some 900 metres from the nearest water sources at Stroud Navigation and Ruscombe Brook.
The Wildlife Trust stated in 2008 that otters were established in at least 13 towns and cities, with over 100 sightings in urban locations.