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One of my most favorite moments in Cades Cove was with this otter. He started across Sparks Lane as I was in my car. I pulled over and he retreated into a small stream. As I waited, he crossed the road and started up stream. I grabbed a different lens and made my way over to the stream. I couldn't find him at first, but soon heard a crunching noise. I listened carefully and found the otter in the stream near where I was standing. He had found a crawfish and was having a meal on it. I began to photograph him as he swam, groomed and ate along the stream. Just me and him alone. I sat down on a log and watched him for a long time without taking any photos. Just enjoying the moment. After about 45 minutes, I thanked him kindly and he swam on up the stream.
River otter munching on crawfish
Great Smoky Mountains