Broadcaster and naturalist Terry Nutkins has died after losing his battle with leukaemia.
The 66-year-old was best known for his appearances on children's TV shows Animal Magic and The Really Wild Show during the 1980s and early 1990s, supplying "voices" for animals such as Gemini the sealion.
His agent, John Miles, said he died at his home in Glenelg, near the Isle of Skye, nine months after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
"He was an absolutely lovely guy and just loved animals, and he was never happier than when he was with animals," said Mr Miles. "We will all miss him very, very much."
Born in London, Nutkins regularly bunked off school as a boy to help out at London Zoo, developing an expertise with, and affection for, wild animals.
He moved to Scotland at the age of 11 to work with Ring of Bright Water author Gavin Maxwell, caring for wild otters in his estate on Skye. At the age of 15 he lost the tips of two fingers when one of the animals bit him.
Maxwell became legal guardian to Nutkins, who settled on the west coast of Scotland.
He joined Animal Magic in the early 1980s, forming a close friendship with the programme's presenter, Johnny Morris. Morris bequeathed a large portion of his estate to Nutkins when he died in 1999.
When the programme finished in 1983 Nutkins helped to create The Really Wild Show, which he presented from 1986 to 1993.
In 2001 he bought Fort Augustus Abbey, on the shore of Loch Ness, and restored the 18th-century building with the aim of reopening it as a tourist attraction.
In his later years he continued to make appearances on wildlife programmes, most recently on the BBC's Winterwatch to explain how otters survived the harsh winter of 2011.
Nutkins, who had eight children, was also a keen beekeeper and a member of the British Beekeepers' Association.
Tributes began pouring in through social media as news of the naturalist's death filtered through.
Former children's TV host Phillip Schofield said on Twitter: "So sad to hear of the death of Terry Nutkins. I worked with him often in my 'broom cupboard' days. A delightful man & passionate naturalist."
Ben Fogle said: "Very sad to hear the sad passing of Terry Nutkins. He was one of my childhood inspirations."
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