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Old August 20th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #1
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Mr Otto - The sea otter

I've done some changes in my little film about the sea otter, Mr Otto.

Wmv-file 70 mb: Mr Otto The sea otter
Mov-file 80 mb: Mr Otto The sea otter

Here's a little story about the sea otter:
Sea otters have been hunted extensively for their luxurious fur.
From 1741 onwards, over-hunting reduced sea otter populations to the point of extermination in many parts of their historic range. By 1911 the world population was estimated to be just 1,000-2,000 individuals in 13 colonies. Although several subspecies are still endangered, the otters have since been legally protected. Reintroduction efforts have shown positive results in some areas. Generally sticking to shallow coastal waters of no more than about 55 meters in depth, sea otters are found most often in areas with rocky coastlines and thick kelp forests; barrier reefs and intertidal areas are also inhabited. In the wild the sea otters live perhaps 15-20 years, and can live longer than 20 years in captivity.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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Geir,


As I download your footage here is a short post on last week here in the canadian prairies.

Otters are awesome creatures.

A week ago we saw a river otter in a 90 mile long lake ( it is only about a mile wide and at its deepest is only 85 feet deep) and is actually a dammed watershed.

I have never even heard of otters in this region before. What a great treat to actually see one.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 05:25 AM   #3
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Geir Inge,
a great reencounter with our friend Otto! You have done a nice job presenting his morning ritual. I could even recognize some clip from my visit to you earlier this summer!
Have you been shooting more footage of him lately, think I saw some new scenes there?

Good work :-)
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:11 AM   #4
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Thanks Per Johan and Dale.
Just a few new clips, the weather conditions hasn't been on my side the last weeks. Wind and rain :(
One thing that strikes me is how difficult it is to shoot animals in the wild. You have to be on the right spot at the right time, and even though, the animals don't sit and wait for you and you can't ask them to pose either. So it takes time, planning, getting to know the area were the different species live etc. But it feels great when you finally succeed and get some really nice shooting on tape :)

The sea otter is a fascinating animal, allways on the run, in search for something to eat, and quite a challenge to film.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Geir Inge View Post
One thing that strikes me is how difficult it is to shoot animals in the wild. You have to be on the right spot at the right time, and even though, the animals don't sit and wait for you and you can't ask them to pose either. So it takes time, planning, getting to know the area were the different species live etc. But it feels great when you finally succeed and get some really nice shooting on tape :)
Very true Geir Inge! And this is what facinate me and drive me further; to try to catch those magical moments where you are lucky and you got these stunning shoots of wild animals.
Just a few of us who has experienced the long waiting for the right moment can tell how it feels ;-)
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:19 PM   #6
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Geir,

I finally watched the otter footage, it is excellent footage and I enjoyed it.

Curiously, the otter was snooping around the rocks and areas and I was wondering if they rob nests and such as well as feed in the water.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:46 PM   #7
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hehehe, well they do rob nests, but this time he was just snooping around to make sure there wasn't any other on his territory. The otter diet consist mainly af fish and crab, but on and off they eat snails, mice and bird eggs. After all it is a predator, but a cute one :)
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Old August 21st, 2007, 02:40 PM   #8
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Hey Geir. I'd love to watch this fella for real, some of your footage is just fabulous. I could see you needing more reach when he's on his back eating that fish...that needed a teethy, fishey closeup huh! I was waiting for your voiceover to start, I'm getting used to hearing your voice now and its becoming familiar.....celebrity status ;) !

Hey I saw your FOTE 1 min Puffin piece too, great choice of subject fella. I've entered that one too although I've really tried to do something a bit different and even worked with people.....scary huh :)
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Old August 21st, 2007, 03:30 PM   #9
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otters have since been legally protected

Sea Otters have since been legally protected.

This is not true. Alaska Natives are hunting Sea Otters off the Coast of Alaska. Over 400 are harvested each year. The Sea Otters in my area are so busy dodging 243 caliber bullets, that they don't give a videographer much of a chance.

One of Alaska's quiet dirty little secrets.



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Old August 21st, 2007, 05:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by David Rice View Post
Sea Otters have since been legally protected.
This is not true. Alaska Natives are hunting Sea Otters off the Coast of Alaska. Over 400 are harvested each year. The Sea Otters in my area are so busy dodging 243 caliber bullets, that they don't give a videographer much of a chance. One of Alaska's quiet dirty little secrets.
Dave Rice
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Hi, David and thank you for filling in some facts about the sea otter in Alaska.
I found "my" facts about the sea otter in wikipedia, so I guess their not quite up to date on their facts :) In Norway the sea otter's been legally protected since 1982.

Mat; you have to come over for a visit some day :) And I've seen your 1min, nicely done but a bit difficult to read the text, but thats youtube I guess :)
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 06:42 AM   #11
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The Sea Otter of the Pacific Coast of North America is not the same animal at all as the European Otter. The latter is found in fresh water as well as in the sea.

The American Sea Otter comes in both Northern and Southern populations, but I am not sure whether they are regarded as separate species.

The BBC has just finished a series on wildlife of the Southern California coast in which the southern Sea Otter featured strongly. The local polulation there is under threat from disease. They featured the rescue and recovery of one animal that had survived a White Shark attack - it had the teeth marks to prove it.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 07:25 AM   #12
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Thank you Allan for filling in. Here's a little about the 2 species, taken from Wikipedia.

THE EUROPEAN OTTER is the most widely distributed otter species, the name being something of a misnomer, as the species' range includes parts of Asia and Africa, as well as being spread across Europe. The otter is believed to be extinct in Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Otters are now very common along the coast of Norway and in Northern Britain, especially Shetland where 12% of the UK breeding population exist. In Italy, they can be found in the Calore river area.
An otter's diet mainly consists of fish but can also include birds, insects, frogs, crustaceans and sometimes small mammals. In general this opportunism means they may inhabit any unpolluted body of freshwater, including lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds, as long as there is good supply of food. Otters may also live along the coast, in salt water, but require regular access to freshwater to clean their fur.

SEA OTTERS (Enhydra lutris) live along the Pacific coast of North America. Their historic range included shallow waters of the Bering Strait and Kamchatka, and as far south as Japan. Sea otters have some 200,000 hairs per square cm of skin, a rich fur for which humans hunted them almost to extinction. By the time the 1911 Fur Seal Treaty gave them protection, so few sea otters remained that the fur trade had become unprofitable.
Sea otters eat shellfish and other invertebrates (especially clams, abalone, and sea urchins ), and one can frequently observe them using rocks as crude tools to smash open shells. They grow to 1 to 2 m (2.5 to 6 feet) in length and weigh 30 kg (about 65 pounds). Although once near extinction, they have begun to spread again, starting from the California coast.
Unlike most marine mammals (seals, for example, or whales), sea otters do not have a layer of insulating blubber. As with other species of otter, they rely on air-pockets trapped in their fur.
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