Friday 2 December 2016

Two wandering otter cubs rescued

Published 28/02/2012 | 16:39

Roy, one of two rescued otter cubs being cared for by the Scottish SPCA in Fife
Roy, one of two rescued otter cubs being cared for by the Scottish SPCA in Fife

Two otter cubs have been rescued after they wandered into a post office and a restaurant.

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Male cub Roy, who is 12 weeks old, was found hiding underneath the counter of a post office in the village of Caol, Fort William, on February 16. A few days later, 10-week-old female Linnhe wandered into the nearby seafood restaurant Crannog on February 20.

The pair are not thought to be siblings but are likely to have come from the same area of water and have been named after a nearby loch and river. They are now being cared for by the Scottish SPCA at the charity's Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: "It's highly unusual for one otter to walk into a public place, let alone two. Roy and Linnhe have probably come from a water course nearby, possibly Loch Linnhe. Because of their difference in age we know they can't be siblings but they have obviously both come from the local area.

"It's likely that their mothers have possibly been killed or frightened off and, because the cubs' eyesight is very poor at such a young age, they have been unable to find them again. Both were dehydrated and in poor condition when they arrived in our care and they certainly wouldn't have survived for much longer if they hadn't been rescued."

It is not known why the cubs decided to investigate the post office and restaurant. The Scottish SCPA will care for them for around a year, which is how long otters stay with their parents in the wild.

Mr Seddon said: "These are the first otter cubs who will stay in our care for the full duration of their rehabilitation thanks to the opening of our new National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire, which will be ready soon.

"Normally, we have to move cubs to the International Otter Survival Fund on Skye to complete their recovery but we'll now have the facilities to enable them to develop until they're ready to be released."

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