Otters named after TV wildlife presenter are separated after a series of bust-ups
Johnny and Morris can't find
that animal magic
by Deborah Smith Photo Nigel White Copyright: Dorset Echo Friday 04 May 2001
Johnny the otter of Weymouth Sea Life Park

ALONE AGAIN: One of the otters at Weymouth Sea Life Park which have been split up after several scuffles

ANIMAL magic lost its charm for Weymouth Sea Life Park otters Johnny and Morris when the fur flew and tempers frayed.

The latest stars of the park - a pair of Asian short clawed otters - have had to be permanently split up after a series of bust-ups in their specially-designed enclosure.

The newest residents at the resort's Sea Life Park - named Johnny and Morris after the famous TV wildlife presenter of `Animal Magic' - let their star status go to their heads.

Relations between Johnny - who came to Weymouth from a wildlife park in Norfolk - and Morris - from a park in Cornwall - finally became so strained staff had to intervene and break it up.

Nina Godsell, their keeper, said: "They had a bit of a personality clash. Otters are usually quite sociable creatures, but both Johnny and Morris have particularly strong characters and kept bickering with each other. "Although not exactly fighting tooth and claw, it did get to the stage where they would have a bust up every other day. For the sake of harmony we decided to split them up."

Morris - who is the more short-tempered of the pair - has now been sent to a new otter enclosure in Norfolk and Johnny has been joined by a new female otter from Colchester Zoo.

Nina added: "I'm sure Johnny Morris would have seen the funny side of the whole saga and had a lot of fun making up voices for a running commentary of their disagreements.

"Thankfully, Johnny and the new female otter get on like a house on fire and our only problem now is to think of a name for her. "

Meanwhile, Morris is in quarantine at Hunstanton Aquarium in Norfolk where he will make his public debut at the end of the month.

Another shot of Johhny. He doesn't look it but he's much happier now.............

See - Johnny & new pal, she's currently known as Mo-Mo