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A crime mystery in the village. A sighting, a suspect and a pond full of fish

June 9, 2012

David phoned. His latest sighting was somewhat unexpected. A largish animal appeared in the headlights late one evening as he drew in to the top of his drive. In his mind it could be nothing else but an otter. But in the village street? Admittedly the Bure was not too far away – in fact the river was a field and a half away, say 300 yards, but this did seem to be rather off the beaten otter track. I went through the possibilities with him, perhaps it was an otter, or could it have been a mink. Conceivably either, but the size favoured the former as the most likely. No tracks were traceable, so we noted it down and decided to keep our eyes peeled.

When the subject came up at the village jubilee party, the penny dropped. A whole pond full of ornamental fish had been raided and eaten at the Old Rectory. Suspicions were roused. The timing was right. We had a motive and the evidence of the professionally devoured fish. The evidence seemed to be more than circumstantial. But there the trail ended. How far do otters range in search of easy prey? Some distance seems to be the answer. An Otter fencing order is advisable for any remaining ponds on ornamental fish in the village and if there are largish mammals spotted at night in the village street..

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