A walk on the wild side

3 min readOct 1, 2021
Photo by Kendra Young on Unsplash

I was out for a morning walk, and I was late.

It was 9 am and I still had about five minutes’ walking to do before I got to the coffee shop for my 9 am appointment.

At first, I thought the furry critter beside me on the path was somebody’s dog gone off leash.

Something in my distracted brain disagreed. No, that’s not the right shape. I looked more closely.

It was an otter.

Here, in the middle of the big city, amongst three million or so people with all their internal combustion engines and noise and concrete, was an otter.

Granted, I was walking along a waterfront path, along an inlet that had once been a cornucopia of food for the original indigenous inhabitants. Over the last 150 years the settlers have filled in much of the inlet, added polluting industries, built bridges, and relegated the tending of both tamed and natural bounty to the suburban municipalities. What’s left of the waterway is no longer a wonderful place for wildlife.

As far as I can tell, the otter didn’t seem to be suffering. They looked hale and hearty, to the extent that I am qualified to assess such things (which is, not much, beyond first impressions). He or she was plump, with a sleek, shiny coat and bright, observant eyes. A fine specimen.




Recreational writer, collector of antique corkscrews, urban gardener and retired management consultant to social profit organizations. Proudly Canadian.