Keen photographer snaps incredible shots of otter devouring crab

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A KEEN photographer has captured incredible images showing the moment a hungry otter snatched and devoured a crab.

Richard Lovelock, from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, was camping on the Isle of Mull when he captured the snaps at Loch Spelve last month.

The police sergeant, from London, managed to snap the moment the otter swam through the water focused on its prey.

Otter hissing down lens - Wildlife News Scotland
Richard caught the otter hissing down his lens.                                                                                   (C) Richard Lovelock

Images show the mammal emerging from the loch after snatching the crab from the waters beneath.

For a split second, the crab appears to make an escape, freeing itself from the otter’s grip. 

But the otter grabs the crab once more, this time crunching down on the crab and ending the struggle. 

Another stunning image shows the otter looking directly down the camera lens with the remains of the crab lying desolate on the rocks.

Richard posted the images on Facebook on Wednesday, tagging Tobermory, Isle of Mull as the location.

Otter attacks crab - Wildlife News Scotland
The otter brought the crab to shore before eating it.                                                                           (C) Richard Lovelock

Impressed social media users have praised Richard for his impressive shots.

Jenny Burgoyne said: “These are beautiful.” 

David Roberts commented: “Incredible. I’m shocked they can eat big crabs. I thought they would be grabbed if they bit on one claw by the free one.”

Rick Harrison replied: “Great photos!” 

Helen Wittenmyer added: “Amazing!”

Otter eats crab - Wildlife News Scotland
The otter snatched the crab from under the water.                                                                           (C) Richard Lovelock

Speaking today, Richard said: “It was our last day and we hadn’t seen as many otters this trip, so doubting otters mind the rain, we drove along Loch Spelve. 

“We saw the otter swimming along the shoreline and every few minutes catch a fish or similar and swim to shore to eat, before returning to the water. 

“We drove ahead and I walked down the beach and sat on a large boulder. 

“I could see the otter swimming along the coast towards me, stopping and starting.

“They have poor eyesight and good hearing, so I just sat quietly and it broke the surface beside me with the biggest crab I’d seen. 

“It literally swam to the beach in front of me and demolished it within two mins, before returning to the water and swimming off. 

“The crab didn’t have a chance and then crunched it’s way through the lot. 

“Amazing to see.”