Monday 17 June 2019

Otter Henry making 'astounding' recovery

Hopes animal can be released again after injury to hind legs

The injured otter was found on the road near the Meeting of the Waters.
The injured otter was found on the road near the Meeting of the Waters.

Deborah Coleman

An injured otter which was stranded on the road near the Meeting of the Waters is making what the ISCPA describes as an 'astounding' recovery.

The creature, named Henry, was rescued by the ISPCA and a conservation ranger after he was spotted on the road and herded back into the Avoca River by a member of the public.

When Henry continued to wander back out to the roadside, appearing a little worse for wear, the person secured him beneath a flower pot and contacted the National Parks and Wildlife Service for advice.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling was also contacted and met a conservation ranger at the location. Together they secured Henry and transported him to Bairbre O'Malley's veterinary practice in Bray.

While the otter showed no obvious signs of external injury, he was unable to use his hind legs properly. The vet suspected that he was hit by a car and had incurred some neurological damage, which she hoped was temporary. Henry was then transferred to the Kildare Animal Foundation (KAF) where he received round the clock care from Dan Donoher and his team.

It took three days of intense nursing, but Henry finally turned a corner. He has begun using his hind legs again and regained his appetite. He continues to thrive and put on weight and his coat is regaining its usual shine.

'We are always delighted to work with the ISPCA and were happy to assist in the rehabilitation of Henry and many other wildlife casualties we continue to help. Our great partnership with the ISPCA is going from strength to strength and rescue groups working together to help animals is the only way forward. We hope to release Henry back to his natural habitat in the coming weeks,' said Mr Donoher.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: 'We are relieved to see Henry is making such a remarkable recovery with Dan and the team at KAF. His prognosis was uncertain at first and it was touch and go as to whether he would make it. I'm just glad to have been able to help him on his way'.

The ISPCA would encourage the public to report animal welfare concerns online (in confidence) at, by email to or by calling the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515.

Wicklow People