By Grace Yoxon of the International Otter Survival Fund in Scotland
You are not going to believe this story. About two weeks ago, SSPCA Inspector Andy Brown was called to Inverness Harbour for an otter which was having difficulties. However, when he arrived the animal was in the water and there was no way of catching it.
The next day he had another call and by then the otter had managed to get up into one of the buildings at the Harbour. Andy could see that the otter was having difficulties with his back legs, although he was walking on them. He caught the otter and it was sent to the SSPCA Wildlife Rescue Centre at Middlebank. At first they didn’t think the injuries were too severe as he was putting weight on the legs, but x-rays revealed a completely different picture — both back legs were broken.
Safe in the Nursery Pen
Somehow this animal had survived in the wild with two broken legs. He was thin, obviously, but the bones had already started to heal. On Wednesday we went to Dalwhinnie to collect him as it will take a few months for him to recover. At the moment he is in a nursery pen which allows him to move about and use the small pool. As of yet we do not know if he will recover sufficiently to be released, but with his resilience and determination, we are hopeful.
This otter has become my hero. He is so plucky. Otters have a strange way of running or trotting. They walk relatively normally but when they run the can only be described as “lolloping!” To see him do that the other day was amazing, even if it was only slowly.
As of yet we can’t say for certain that he can be released, but the signs are good. As to when the vet reckoned possibly six months. If that is the case we will have to wait until the spring as we don’t want to put him out in the worst weather. But maybe it will be quicker – we have to leave it to him.
Want to Help Name This Miracle Otter?
We don’t have a name for him yet as we feel it needs to be something which reflects his amazing story. We have a naming contest taking place and for a simple donation of $3 or more you can make your suggestion for a name for him. The person who suggests the best name will receive an enlarged photo of him. After making your donation, simply use the Contact Us box on our website to enter the name you think will suit our otter friend.
And please help us help other otters in distress by signing the petition. They really need your voice today.