Lisburn’s newest resident spotted in the Lagan - but what is it?

The otter in the River Lagan. INUS otter two

The otter in the River Lagan. INUS otter two

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First the Lagan had Sammy the Seal and now it appears the river has a new resident, Ollie the otter!

The little fella has been observed enjoying himself around the banks at the civic centre showing that the river is thriving.

According to The Wildlife Trust, spotting an otter in the wild is quite a rare thing.

Lisburn man Gary Benson spotted ‘Ollie’ during a walk a few months ago and has been keeping an eye on the furry little chap.

Gary said: “He’s a very playful cheeky little chap but you have to keep your distance, I have seen him lots of times during the day.

“You can see him swimming about and coming onto the banks andat times with a fish in his mouth.

“He’s in there all the time, I would cycle down there and it wouldn’t take long before I spot him.

“It’s really great to see him in the Lagan.

“This can only be a good thing as it shows that the Lagan is clean and vibrant with wildlife.

“The council and other bodies should be commended for the work they have done in cleaning up the river and this shows that wildlife is there.

“For this little otter to do so well is all down to good work done for the river.

“You can watch him but it’s best to keep your distance you don’t want to disturb him too much.”

A spokeperson for the council said: “In recent times, the River Lagan at the Civic Centre has welcomed a number of wildlife visitors to its waters.

“Its most recent arrival is an otter who has been seen swimming in the River at Lagan Valley Island several times a week. These visits have delighted all those lucky enough to have witnessed them and it is extremely encouraging that the environment around the River Lagan is attracting this wildlife to Lisburn.

“The Lagan Valley Regional Park has co-ordinated efforts by local agencies, partnerships, charities and community groups to help clean up parts of the River and surrounding neighbourhoods and it is wonderful to see wildlife enjoying the benefits of all their hard work.”

Last year the Star reported how a seal had been spotted swimming up the Lagan and he became a bit of celebrity. Dubbed ‘Sammy’ by locals he was spotted along various parts of the river over a period of months.

If you have seen Sammy or Ollie in the river let us know.