Wednesday, 1 August 2012

We Visit the Otter and Butterfly Centre at Buckfast ...

Hi there fellow Bloggers! On Monday of last week we visited the Otter and Butterfly Centre at Buckfast. Some of the photos are not for the faint hearted!
There are photos of a lovely otter called Rocky at the end of this post to hopefully get you to recover from these!

The Centre is run by three people and relies on donations, adoptions, etc as well as the entrance fees paid.
We arrived at the Centre just before 12 noon. The person at the till told us that if we hurried through to one of the otter enclosures we would see the otters being fed and he wasn't wrong!

Here is one of the otters devouring a day old chick!

A few mouthfuls and it was gone!

The keeper informed us that a few weeks ago a seagull had ventured into one of the pens during a visit by school children. You can guess what happened the otters ate the seagull! The keeper told us that rather than be horrified the children had enjoyed watching it!

They have three types of otters here - American, Asian and British. The oldest otter here is 23 years old. In the wild they generally only last 7 or 8 years.

The otters were very playful, diving in and out and playing happily with each other. We were told that otters, like swans, mate for life.

They feed the otters three times a day here - at 11.30 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. so whatever time you turn up, you only have a few hours to wait before a feeding session.

The Centre is small but all the better for it. You are able to ask the keeper questions and get really close to the animals.

After seeing some of the otters being fed we went to see the butterflies.

We saw some fantastic butterflies but I don't know anything more about them - so I will let the photos do the talking!

We were here on a swelteringly hot day. It was too hot to stay in the butterfly house for long. We decided that the best thing to do was to make a few trips into the house, that way we would not dissolve into lumps of lard!

Some of the butterflies posed for their photo to be taken. Others fluttered by very quickly and it was impossible to take a photo.

I have never previously been to a butterfly farm and didn't really know what to expect but this little Centre made me feel so glad that I had visited.

There were plenty of this type of butterfly - perched on pieces of fruit strategically positioned. The butterflies always posed to the side but when they opened their wings - they were a brilliant blue. Would they stay with their wings open - would they heck!

You can just about make out the blue here!

It got so hot in the butterfly house that we had to escape the heat and what better than to retreat to a nearby kiosk which sold ice-cream!

Having eaten our fill of ice-cream we felt we could once again enter the butterfly house.

We walked slowly round admiring the butterflies once again.

Wherever we looked there were different types.

Some perched on leaves and others on pieces of fruit.

Some opening their wings and others more shy!

You could watch the butterflies emerging from their cocoons.

If you haven't visited a similar attraction - it is worth while but the heat was tremendous. Apparently though according to the keeper it isn't usually so hot and the second time we entered the house they had some sprinklers on so it was a bit cooler!

More butterflies for you to see.

Another one! Stating the obvious!

The last one - well, almost!

A closer look at the above!

It was now 2.00 p.m. and time to see the otters being fed.

This American otter named Rocky was my absolute favourite. Why was he called Rocky - he liked moving backwards and forwards when stood on his hind legs!

A closer look at Rocky!

Isn't he handsome!

And there you have photos of our recent trip to the Otter and Butterfly Centre in Buckfast!

On the way home we stopped on Dartmoor to see if we could spot some Dartmoor ponies - all will be revealed soon!

Until next time,



  1. What magnificent photos of the butterflies. It seems you had a wonderful trip .. I learnt something today June. I always thought that otters were fish eaters..i didnt know they were carniverous. There you go. we learn something everydy through blogging. I have only ever seen them eat oysters and fish. A little gruesome to see mr. otter eating the chicken, but they are fascinating creatures... we have sometimes swam in the rivers here in Portugal and there have been otters there.
    looking forward to seeing the dartmoor ponies.. i have heard a lot about them.
    happy wednesday

  2. I loved looking at your butterfly photo's..just stunning! It is just amazing how they totally transform after coming out of their cocoons. We have a couple butterfly bushes in our backyard that are just starting to bloom, so I am just waiting now for the butterflies to arrive :)
    Rocky the otter is sure how he stands up like that :P
    Magie x

  3. Great photos. It sounds like you've been having a great summer holiday so far!

    Thanks for checking out my 365 photos, the jackdaws was a great capture!!

  4. Oh blimey June - crunch!

    As always you take the most utterly gorgeous pictures - you really should enter one into Sarah Raven's photo competition. You can find all the details on the Garlic and Sapphire blog - honestly, I really think you should take a look.

    Nina xxx

  5. You do take the most beautiful photos, June. The otter ones sre wonderful as are those of the butterflies, so cleaar - I love the whiskers on the otters:)

  6. They are too cute, not too sure about the feet of the day old chicks though!

  7. Wonderful pictures, but the first ones of the otter eating the chick are alarming! I have seen some of these butterflies in the wild. I haven't seen as many this year - I mean our own native ones, out in the countryside.

  8. Rocky looks such a character. I didn't realise that otters eat birds! Your photographs of the butterflies are stunning. I was trying to photograph small butterflies the other day but they kept flying away!
    Sarah x

  9. I absolutely love otter, I think I would have loved your trip! Juliex

  10. Lovely butterfly pics June they are so clear,not sure I about the first otter ones but the last ones are nice.Love Jill xx

  11. I want to visit a butterfly house! Wonderful photos again.


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