Prior to the Open Studio weekend here, I used to often here and infrequently catch glimpses of an otter in the Mattatuxet River. On the second day of the big weekend, on my way in, I found a dead otter on the side of Route 4 South.
The otters of Shady Lea have been well documented. Check out these amazing pictures on Daily Kos by Roberto Bessin, a sculptor who works here at the Mill, with a great story by Mark Hall, who owns and operates Biomes, an aquarium that started here at the Mill.
Hall explains why this dammed river that is Shady Lea Pond is excellent otter habitat. “To other species the creation of these mill ponds was a boon, including perch, painted turtles and river otters”
The otter I found dead most likely lived on this pond too. The spot I saw an otter at is less than 400 yards from where I found one dead.