After a spate of koi carp killings from ponds in Wiltshire this summer, speculation has been growing about what animals are responsible.

Now, an otter who was blamed for the killing of fish from ponds in Westbury back in August was spotted this morning (Thursday, October 5) at a Westbury lake.

The sighting is a surprise, as otters are mostly active during dusk and at night.

Often, otters are only spotted The killings have also been blamed on otters, mink, foxes and heron.

The animal or animals responsible have even travelled as far as Burbage and Pewsey, killing prized fish from people's ponds.

Steve Smailes, Wildlife Information Volunteer at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust said: "It is not often obvious which predator is responsible for pond raids, but some are definitely the work of otters. For people with precious collections of Koi carp this can be a particular problem, but also for anyone who is attached to their pond fish and does not wish to see them harmed.

"Otters probably will find only a small proportion of garden ponds, and luck will play a part. It is possible, theoretically, that particularly on warm nights a fountain or other circulating system might disperse misty fishy odours over a distance, or spread the sound of running water to keen ears.

"Otters are one of our great success stories. Extinct in most English counties by the late sixties, they hung on in rugged and peripheral river basins.

"Over the last 20 years or so they have gradually and quietly recolonised every county, moving up and down river corridors, streams and canals. They are now well represented in Wiltshire, having colonised the whole of the Bristol Avon and its tributaries. One of those tributaries is the River Biss, and otters have been seen along this river over the past couple of years. Otters can be present but unguessed at, being mostly active when people are not in evidence, and especially at night."