Balázs Buzás gave us interviews several times. Recently he is working for the Rare Species Conservation Centre (RSCC). That's how he got so close to the Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), that he managed to film their mating.
Filmjungle: Why is the smooth-coated otter special? What should be known about this species?
Balázs: This otter occurs from Iraq to South East Asia, and it is a gross, diurnal species, so should be presented in zoos, but it is not... Of course the zoos in Europe should concentrate on the breeding of the European otter (Lutra lutra), but since it is a scary animal, it is difficult to present it in a spectacular way. RSCC wanted to choose an otter species which is endangered, diurnal, gross and can be found in sanctuaries, so that by adopting some specimens we enhance the receiving capacity of these places, in the meantime we also help the conservation of this otter. The first couple arrived in 2008 from the cambodian Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. They are rescued animals, accordingly the male still shows some stereotypic behavior traits, but we try to reduce them by environmental enrichment and regular training.
Filmjungle: How did you manage to film the mating?
Balázs: While doing my job I pass by the otters, so I can keep tabs on their everyday life. Because of their behavior I already expected the mating, so I started to go to see them early in the morning for a couple of days before the happening. We could see them mating in the last years as well, but for the first time there are results.