Otter found dead in illegal crayfish trap in Norwich river

  • Pictures from Phil Coles

An otter that had became a popular sight along the River Wensum in Norwich has been found dead in an illegal crayfish trap.

Local wildlife enthusiast Phil Coles says the otter had brought joy to many people who walked along the river.

The otter was a familiar sight to walkers along the River Wensum. Credit: Phil Coles

Mr Coles said: "Lockdown has encouraged us to walk in green spaces and take in the beauty of the world around us.

"And in Norwich city centre, there has been one animal more than any other who has brought joy, a ray of sunshine during these dark times.

"This cocky, confident young otter has been delighting observers all along the Wensum from the city centre to Earlham. But this morning the much loved local character was found dead."

An otter was found dead in an illegal crayfish trap in the River Wensum in Norwich. Credit: Phil Coles

A spokesperson for the Norfolk Rivers Trust said: “We are devastated to hear that an otter has died in an illegal crayfish trap.

"We’ve seen a big and unacceptable rise in trapping illegally since the start of lockdown, this kills our wildlife and can spread crayfish plague to other river catchments.

"We must pursue collective environmental action as members of the public together with organisations, and so we do urge members of the public to report any incidences to the Environment Agency -  trapping is illegal without a license.”