Issue 162, page 5

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They've Got a Funny Accent!

Offbeat News
Tourist Otters Confused by Accent

LONDON (Reuters) - Two Canadian otters at a sanctuary in Scotland have been placed under 24-hour protection from aggressive local otters who are confused by their "foreign accents," a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The National Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban has installed an electric fence and surveillance cameras to protect its Canadian guests, Fingal and Sula, according to The Independent.

Though almost twice the size of their wild Scottish relatives, the pair are disadvantaged by their foreign accents and scent.

"Dialects are common in animal communications, but because of the differences in the sounds they make it will be difficult for these Canadian otters to communicate with the native ones," Matthew Evans, an animal communications expert from Stirling University, was quoted as saying.

"There is no doubt dropping two foreign otters into a territory of wild locals would lead to the local ones beating the living daylights out of the new ones," he added.

The pair arrived at the center's Otter Creek on the banks of Loch Creran a year ago and are currently being housed in an indoor seal pup nursery.

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