Otter cub found on the marsh

A phone call alerted me to an otter on the roadside verge of Claggan marsh. I arrived half an hour later to see an otter cub curled up in the grass at the roadside, like a baby leveret in a grass form. I left the cub where it was. Thinking a female may be near by. I returned 5 hours later in the night. The cub hadn’t moved. I went for assistance. When we got back the cub was out on the public road. Attracted by the van lights it came toward us. I put a basket over it an scooped it up into the back of the van. Back at the cottage I opened the van. The otter was hiding among coats and boxes that fill my van. I attempted to catch the pup. It eluded me by climbing in between the panelling in the back of the van. I left it for an hour. Visions of a dead otter brought me out to undo the panelling and get the cub in a box. Then I released the cub onto the green road outside the cottage. The cub creeped away into the bushes. At 3am I was awoken by otter whistling. I thought great the female has found the cub. An hour later more whistling. This time just outside the cottage. I got up and found the cub under the van. I coaxed the cub out and out it in the box and brought it inside. Next morning I went to the supermarket and bought 6 herring. The otter cub once it recognised it as food ate with gusto. Later in the day I brought it to two friendly vets who gave it a rehydration injection and a vitamin boost. The vets sexed, measured and weighed the cub, a female, 1734grams. I guessed about 6 months old. Otter cubs stay with there mothers for a year. Unfortunately work prevented me from learning more about this beautiful otter and it is now in an animal sanctuary Animal Magic, for the next six months.

Published by shayfennelly

Marine scientist and photographer. Interested in all marine ecology, exploration, science and technology.

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