The RSPCA has paired up two lovely newborn otters to aid with their recovery.
Eve and Juniper, two orphans who would have been unable to survive in the wild alone at such a young age, have been placed together by staff at the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre near Nantwich.
Eve was spotted in a bin near Sunderland Road in Durham and was given the name Eve because she was discovered on Christmas Eve.
It’s supposed that someone saw her and assumed she was dead, so they threw her body in the trash. Thankfully, another member of the public noticed her and recognized signs of life, so they hurried her to a nearby veterinarian.
Eve was treated for hypothermia by the vet, who then informed the RSPCA of her condition.
Inspector Steph Baines took the otter cub to be treated at a wildlife establishment in North Yorkshire and after a few days she was strong enough to be transferred to Stapeley Grange.
Juniper was found alone days later in the New Year by a member of the public near Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire.
There was no sign of his mum and the otter was clearly frightened so he was taken by the finder to a nearby vet and then was transferred to Stapeley Grange on January 7.
To help the baby otters prepare for their return to the wild, staff at the RSPCA centre housed the pair together.
Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “To help the otters’ social well-being we recently paired up Eve and Juniper and they are loving spending time together.
“Enrichment is important for the mental wellbeing of our patients and the otters enjoy playing in a paddock with straw and chasing each other around. They are also very fond of the fish dishes we provide and like snuggling up after a long day of scampering around.
“Whilst most of our adult wildlife admissions are returned to the wild within a matter of weeks many of our orphan animals remain in care for many months.
“Our otter cubs can stay with us for up to 12 months so their care is not only time consuming but expensive. They are released at an age and size when they would naturally move off to find their own territory and way in life.”
In this case Eve and Juniper will be released together at a suitable location later in the year.
Lee added: “It is always very exciting to have an otter cub with us as up until the 1980s they were struggling in the wild.
“They weren’t protected by legislation until 1978, at which point numbers were low, but over time their numbers have steadily increased and they have made a comeback in most counties in the UK.
“As a result we are seeing more being brought into Stapeley Grange. Otter rehabilitation is very specialised and you need to have suitable facilities to care for them.
If a member of the public sees a wild animal in need of help, they can call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.
This article by David Houston was first published by Cheshire Live on 13 February 2022. Lead Image: The two orphaned baby otters were paired up by the RSPCA to help them in their rehabilitation (Image: RSPCA).
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