KERALA

A rare companionship

Binsha feeds the otter cub half-a-litre of milk daily.

Binsha feeds the otter cub half-a-litre of milk daily.  

A Correspondent

KALPETTA: While other children of the same age play with their friends, Binsha, a class VI student at Perikkallur Government High School, near Pulapally in Wayanad, has struck up a rare companionship with an aquatic fish-eating mammal — an otter.

The sighting of this endangered species of animal is rare and they are difficult to tame. But Binsha shares an intimate relationship with this four-month-old webbed-foot animal.

She got the otter cub from a neighbour, Anil, four weeks ago.

The otter cub had crawled into his canoe in a wounded condition seven weeks ago when he was engaged in sand- mining in Kabani River.

He nursed the animal for a week before handing it over to Binsha who christened it ‘Manikkutty.’

Now Manikkutty follows Binsha, ‘its foster mother,’ wherever she goes.

“Though I have taken this otter cub to the river many times, it has not jumped into the water.

“But I wash it regularly and allow it to play in the water daily,” says Binsha.

Binsha lives with her grandmother in a hut on the banks of the Kabani.

Her father Kunnummel Siddique works in Malappuram, and her two brothers stay with him.

Her mother, Vilsi, has been working in Dubai for last six months.

Binsha feeds the otter cub half-a-litre cow’s milk daily. Fish without bone and raw flesh of animals are the other favourite dishes of this pet.

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