The Otter Sanctuary

On Paper

Visit the urban oasis for wildlife, stroll among the lakes, ponds and witness these adorable mammals in their natural habitat.

Then try steal one and take it home.

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In Reality

 I’d met my date through a mutual friend (on Facebook, the mutual friend had no idea) we had similar things in common: he was a fan of Harry Potter and a musician, I’d also dabbled in the entertainment industry.

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We began messaging to arrange a date. I’d heard great things about an Otter Sanctuary where you could hold the otters paws and put across the idea to my date:

“We are going here.”
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We met at the station, ready to arrive at the Sancturary promptly to feed the otters for 12pm:

My date was stunned at the rarity of such an activity:

“I can’t believe there is an otter sanctuary in London!?”

“I know it’s crazy!” … (It’s bollocks)

We arrived at the “Otter Sanctuary” and the truth began to sink in…

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“Why is there a bird on the sign – Oli I hate birds.”

We headed towards the entrance, and were greeted by someone who resembled a famous bird enthusiast (dreams crushing further):

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“What brings you here today?”

My date took command:

“We’d like to adopt an otter”

Bill laughed: “I’m so sorry but you can’t touch the otters – and unfortunately you have missed feeding time however-”

Then I took command…

“I WAS TOLD WE COULD HOLD THEIR PAWS?! NOW GIVE US OUR BABY OTTER.”

(I was told nothing – however I had said the words “Otter Sanctuary” at least 20 times a day on the build up to our date and had convinced myself that the Japaneze Zoo I’d seen featured on the Daily Mail was in London.)

“Look – there’s no way you can touch them, they can be a little vicious-”

Not listening.
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We headed towards the otter zone and there they were (all two of them…). The otters gave us a quick “pre-show” before disappearing behind a rock.

I struggled to hide my disappointment.

“I DID NOT PAY £15 TO WATCH AN OTTER GET BALLS DEEP.”

“Debbie?! This is a family park.”

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“The days not over yet, there’s loads of activities on this sheet.”
“I’m not looking at birds.”
“Do you want some food?”

“No.”

My date took me to the cafe.

“Feeling better?”
“Yep”
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“What do you fancy doing now?”

We looked at the activity sheet; climbing walls, interactive “grow your own” pond…

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“That one.”

We headed over, I expected an absolute eruption (like my arse after a heavy night of drinking) however…

As the weather cleared we headed back outside and my date pointed out a peculiar bird:

“Is that a hippogriff?”
“OMG”
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It didn’t respond to the name however began to approach, wings flared:

“Debbie what the fuck are you doing now?”
“OLI YOU HAVE TO BOW!!”
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A bird watcher approached us mid bow and explained the bird was actually  used to protect expensive properties and goes by the name “Screamer”.

“Bit like me in the bedroom..”
“DEBBIE”
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The date came to an end after a very brief visit to the astronomy tower:

“My telescope is broken, I can only see black.”

“Babe?”
“What?”
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We headed to the gift shop and there he was…alone, lost (disfigured).

“Oli please can we get him.”
“Probably should – no one else will want him with that gammy eye.”


Cost: £15, but…

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“You get reimbursed if you buy a membership!”

Dangerous Rating: The perfect date to start a new family with your baby otter, “Gammy”.

“You can’t call him that?!”
“It’s fine, my surgeon can fix every insecurity.”

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