This film is part of Free

The Otter

Pioneering early nature film with scenes of an otter swimming underwater

Interest film 1912 8 mins Silent


Otter fans are in for a treat with this very early nature film courtesy of the pioneering Charles Urban. Detailed intertitles tell us all about the habits of this fascinating creature, alongside the first known shots of an otter swimming underwater. We even get to see the cameramen setting up their special tank in the river to film these scenes. Originally titled An Otter Study, the surviving version of the film you see here is a re-issue from the 1920s; records suggest a final scene of otter hounds hunting was removed.

Otter hunting dates back to the medieval period and the sport was at the peak of its popularity when this film was made. It was finally outlawed in the 1970s, when otters became a protected species.