** Warning: Contains upsetting image and narrative **
I was saddened to learn that the beautiful albino white otter seen in the Clyde as early as 2014, has now died.
I was contacted by a Bothwell couple in winter 2016, who saw the otter in Blantyre at the weir, its last known location in Blantyre. However, during 2017, perhaps chasing Salmon moving upstream, it ended up in Hamilton, going beyond the Bothwell Bridge.
Motherwell man Damon McLaughlin spotted the dead animal at the side of the road near the M74, as the sad picture confirms.
Otters have long since been in the Clyde around this area, certainly recorded as far back as the 16th Century. More ‘recently’, on Wednesday 21st July 1926, a low Blantyre miner was caught deliberately killing an otter at the River Clyde at Blantyre Weir. The otter measured 3 foot and weighed 42 lbs. Police were called and the miner was later sentenced for poaching.
Of course otters pass away all the time in this local area, quite often I’m sure hit by traffic, but this rare white one was all the more noticeable due to its lack of pigment.