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19 May 2023 - News from the Sanctuary

Submitted by: Callum

News from the Sanctuary

Those of you who saw last week's email will know that we have a new face at the IOSF Sanctuary.

Winston came to us from the SSPCA, after he was found alone near Col on the Isle of Lewis. A feisty little chap with bundles of energy, Winston has settled into life at the Sanctuary very well, joining Eden in his enclosure for a bit of company! Both are very hard to get a photo of, as they are immensely talented at diving into their hay and hiding, but we did manage to get this quick shot of Winston before he buried himself the other day!


Dòbhran is feeding well and enjoying the full run of his enclosure. He is seen below waiting for the humans to leave before running out to grab his afternoon meal!


Bealltainn has now been with us for three years, and continues to seem quite content with her life at the Sanctuary. Here she is seen making the most of a rare bout of sunshine on the island. In more recent days the weather has taken a rather wet turn, and Bealltainn has made the sensible choice and taken cover.


Team Otter

Last week, IOSF’s Education Officer, Ben, was on the road and visiting some coastal communities in western Scotland and his first stop was at Lochgoilhead, a small community in Argyll and Bute.

Lochgoilhead PS1

Ben visited the 28 children attending Lochgoilhead Primary school and spent the whole day with them. The school is split in to three classes, the pre-school Early Learning class (ELC), the ‘Wee Class’ (primary 1-3) and the “Big Class” (primary 4-7). First up, the ELC, where Ben gave the five kids an early introduction to otters and what made them so special. They learned how to identify otters, what they eat and where they live before spending time colouring in their otter masks and creating their very own species! The kids were enthusiastic to learn more about otters through pictures and videos – and delighted to see some of the otters in IOSF care, particularly Eden, given his shared name with one of the pupils!

As the day went on, Ben, joined the ‘wee class’ and ‘big class’, at separate times, to deliver his introduction to otters and their conservation. The children learned all about what makes otters unique, why we need to protect them and what they can do to help!

Following their respective talks, the younger group spent time colouring in their otter masks, while the older group put their newly learned skills to the test, taking a walk and searching for otter signs along the River Goil, finding some under a bridge – a common hotspot for otter spraint.

Lochgoilhead PS2

Ben’s day wasn’t quite done with the end of the school day, as he also had a community talk within Lochgoilhead. People from across the area attended Ben’s hour-long presentation entitled “Eurasian Otters, their ecology and the work of the IOSF”. There was a good turn-out from the community who all engaged with the presentation asking lots of questions and offering stories on their local otter populations.

We would like to thank Lochgoilhead Primary School and the local community for welcoming Ben to their village. And a big 'Thank you' to Tracey and James Copley for looking after Ben during his stay in Lochgoilhead.

Brian Snr

A different climate for Brian's latest trip to Mull!

For those who missed our social media update last week, Ben then headed to the Isle of Mull, where he was joined by Mull Otter Group, for an “Otter Workshop” with the Isle of Iona Primary School. The Iona pupils travelled to Craignure on Mull, where they had an introduction to otters, what makes them special, as well as different ‘stations’ where they could learn about various aspects. Some factors covered were threats to otters and how to reduce them; what to do if you find an otter you believe is in trouble; as well as finding otter signs during an otter-walk with Nigel Burch, of Mull Otter Group, and Ben.

Mull 1

A massive thanks to Iona Primary School for joining us for the session!
We were delighted to see, over the numerous sessions, the passion and knowledge that the children have for the environment, wildlife and, of course, otters!

Mull 2

04 May 2023 - World Otter Day Update!

Submitted by: Callum

World Otter Day Banner

We are now into the month of May, which means only one thing - it is nearly time for Wednesday 31st May... or as we like to call it... #WorldOtterDay!

We are really starting to ramp up our preparations for this year's celebration of all things otter. So far we have over 70 events being held in more than 30 countries around the world on the day, and we hope to add a few more over the course of this month!

You can see below how far the reach will be for World Otter Day 2023!

WOD Map May 1st

Webinar 2023

Webinar 2023 Speakers

Once again we will be hosting our IOSF World Otter Day Webinar this year. This will be split over 2 sessions (Morning and Evening) and will contain presentations on a wide variety of otter conservation aspects, in many different regions. Does this sound like something you would like to be a part of?

Well you can sign up to watch our webinar HERE!


We have some fantastic prizes up for grabs if you enter our IOSF #WorldOtterDay Raffle this year! For just £5 a ticket, you could be in with a chance of winning prizes from:

Perkins & Morley
Kinloch Lodge
Guy MorganSkincare
Sea Change Wine
ARTful Creatures
Big Wild Thought
Talisker Distillery
and of course.. IOSF!

To get yourself into the draw, please CLICK HERE. Don't forget we need your email address to send you your numbers, and to contact you if you win!


01 May 2023 - Green Match Fund Success!

Submitted by: Helen

Green Match Fund thanks


We want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported our Big Give Green Match Fund campaign in April. You have helped raise over £5000 towards our Otter Conservation and Training Workshop in Mexico and we appreciate your action.

The Big Give Green Match Fund is a great initiative to support environmental causes with matched funding and IOSF is glad to have been a part of it.


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