An adventurous young otter has proved a hit with visitors to a Moray park after taking a liking to its pond.
The creature has shown itself to be unusually friendly around humans, coming within feet of the scores of people who have often braved dire weather conditions to catch a glimpse of it at the water feature in Cooper Park during the week.
Local wildlife enthusiast, Steve Truluck, has shared several videos and images of the otter online.
He described the animal as “bold as brass”, saying it “wasn’t bothered at all” when people were standing mere footsteps away watching it play about in the water and scurry around the edge of the pond.
He added: “The otter got out and came right up to people, it has no fear at all.”
A 30-second clip of the otter darting about the area has been viewed almost 3,000 times on the internet.
Commentators marvelled at the otters show with one saying that he was really “playing for the crowd.”
Others described the footage as “stunning” and that it was “worth getting soaked for.”
And photographs later showed it “casually” departing the pond and heading in the direction of the nearby River Lossie – where it is understood that its more reserved parents reside, between Elgin Academy and Moray Leisure Centre.
Otters are considered to be a threatened species and are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, after the species was lost from most of England and Wales between the 1950s and the 1970s because of pesticide pollution of waterways.
But they are thriving in the clean water of the north and west of Scotland, where there are thought to be about 8,000.
They are one of Scotland’s top predators and feed mainly on fish and crustaceans, and can be found near freshwater areas or along the coast.
But the Elgin creature is not the only otter to enjoy the surroundings of a public park.
Last week, a family of the animals was found to be living in the pond at Figgate Park in Edinburgh.
It is thought they are likely feeding on frogs and small fish living in and around the water.