Otters find 'fairytale' love in lockdown

Image source, SEA LIFE Scarborough
Image caption,
Harris moved from Gweek in Cornwall to Sea Life Scarborough to be with Pumpkin

Two otters have found love in lockdown after losing their former partners.

Harris from the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, whose partner died four years ago, moved to Sea Life in Scarborough to be with Pumpkin.

She was lonely after losing her elderly partner Eric and her animal care team hoped a new male otter would cheer her up.

Tamara Cooper, curator at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, said it was "the perfect fairytale ending".

Image source, SEA LIFE Scarborough
Image caption,
Both otters lost their partners prior to being put on an otter dating website

To ensure the best chance of success for a new pairing of Asian short clawed otters, it is best to introduce a new male into a female's territory so that the male more easily submits to the female on first meeting.

Sea Life Scarborough said things were going "swimmingly" and the otters had enjoyed a series of dates.

The curator at the sanctuary in Scarborough, Todd German, said: "We are delighted to report that not only is Pumpkin happy once again, but Harris has settled in extremely well."

When Pumpkin started to show signs of loneliness, the sanctuary in Scarborough reached out to fellow otter sanctuaries to see if there were any otters feeling the same.

The curators at the Cornwall and Scarborough sanctuaries spoke and checked the otters' temperaments would be compatible, before deciding to move Harris.

The otters have now moved into their new home together, where visitors to the sanctuary can see the happy couple.

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