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Otter space encounter

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Gary Hughes spotted this river otter as he hiked a trail from China Bar, near Auburn on the North Fork, to Rattlesnake Bar, near Folsom Lake. The photo was taken about a mile from the end of his hike. “We were watching the otter go down and bring up crayfish and having a feast. We then got distracted by all of the other wildlife including turtles, ducks, bass, and many birds. Then we lost track of the otter and started walking around the pond. A friend spotted it on a log and flagged me to come over and see if I could get a good shot of it. At first it was simply grooming and didn’t notice me. I then made a sound to get its attention, it looked up, I took some pictures, and it went back in the water for more crayfish.” Hughes said. According to California Fish and Game Warden, Robert Pelzman, although otters might be hard to spot, they aren’t rare to this area. "They are pretty secretive but they’re out there,” Pelzman said. “Generally if there are people around they aren’t going to stay out in the open.” If you should see an otter at the river, Pelzman said just let it be and don’t get close. “Just like any wild animal, be aware that they are there, even if you don’t see them,” Pelzman said. “If you do see them, leave them alone and give them their space.” Hughes submitted this photo along with others from his hike on AuburnJournal.com. Click here to view the photo gallery from this hike Hike Photos - Stephanie Breitbart