A cunning rakali swipes a feed from an unsuspecting fisherman

By Angela Heathcote 9 October 2020
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Photo of the day! Photographer Ethan Mann captured this rakali stealing a fish out of an esky.

“SOME EVENINGS, a couple of fishermen would fill their esky with live bait, but the next morning, when they came to the pontoon to have a flick, the esky was empty,” says photographer Ethan Mann, who took this image at a tidal estuary, about 30 minutes north of Brisbane.

“After setting up a trail camera, they soon discovered that it was a cheeky rakali coming each night, jumping into the esky, grabbing a fish and taking it away to gobble up. It would then run back and forth throughout the night until all the fish were gone.”

If you’re unfamiliar, the rakali is Australia’s unofficial otter equivalent, and they’re known for their cunningness. Take for example, how they’ve learnt to delicately feast on cane toads, one of Australia’s worst pests, and their territorial scuffles with the platypus.

Related: Meet the rakali, Australia’s otter equivalent