Otter finds way into Kalk Bay restaurant

An otter appears to have got lost after a night of foraging along the False Bay coast and ducked into a Kalk Bay restaurant to hole up for the day.

It did not make much effort to keep a low profile.


First mistake: he walked in through the front door. Second mistake: he strolled across the feet of the cocktail waitress. Third mistake: he hid under a cupboard, but left his long tail sticking out.

Penny Kleynhans, manager of the restaurant which is separated from the beach only by the railway line, said yesterday they had spotted the creature in the morning before opening up to the public.

“It came in the front door. I saw it but didn’t know what it was. I got such a fright I jumped up on a chair. Then it disappeared.”

Later the woman at the service bar was chopping fruit for cocktails and it ran across her feet. “I just heard this highpitched call ‘Penneeee!’ She didn’t know what it was,” Kleynhans said.

Around lunchtime retired Kalk Bay harbour master Pat Stacey got a call from the restaurant owner.

“He said he had an otter behind a cupboard. I asked if he was sure and he said: ‘Yes, I can see this huge tail sticking out,’ so I went to look and there it was.”

Catching hiding otters was not something Stacey had much experience in, but he knew the creatures could be dangerous when cornered and scared.

“I got them to clear all the patrons to one side of the restaurant.

“Then the owner’s wife came and said: ‘Put all tables and chairs back. This is bad for business.’ I said it was cornered and dangerous but she didn’t seem to take that in. So I put a broom under the cupboard where it was and it bit a chunk out of it. That showed them it could bite,” Stacey said.

He then called Gareth Petterson of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA for help.

“It was a fully grown adult and it was scared. We managed to get a net over him while he was under the cupboard – with great difficulty – then it took Pat, me and a waiter, three of us, to pull it out. It is a strong, strong animal.


“The cupboard it was under was attached to the wall, so we couldn’t move it, but the otter managed to detach it,” Petterson said.

Once they had it caged, Petterson took it to Glencairn wetlands to release it.

He believes it is one of the adult pair that live there. Last year the pair had two young.

Asked why he thought the otter had gone into the restaurant in the first place, Petterson replied: “Cocktails.”

Cape Times


One Response to “Otter finds way into Kalk Bay restaurant”

  1. Kim Kruyshaar Says:

    What a privilege to live where we can still enjoy wild neighbours.

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