We’re often called upon to help with orphaned, injured and rescued otter cubs that have been found alone and in need of care. Looking after otter cubs is a specialist endeavour and there are few organisations in the UK able to carry out this work. We have to replicate the mother’s natural behaviour with the cubs – and this means that we have each cub for at least a year, teaching it to hunt, swim, play, fight, and, importantly, how to be a wild otter! This is a very hands-off and complex process, as we can’t afford to let a cub become humanised or imprinted.
Each time we rehabilitate an orphaned cub, it costs in the region of £2,400 per animal from point of care to release back into the wild. We rely completely on donations, so if you feel you’re able to help us continue this valuable work with an iconic species, we would really appreciate your support.
We currently have quite a few cubs with us for rehabilitation – see below for more information on our residents!
Nutkins is our newest arrival, and came to us just days ago (Feb 2021) – so we’re still monitoring her as she gets used to her new environment. She is tiny and so will stay inside until she’s put on some more weight, after which she will go out into one of our new enclosures.
Dinsdale was found alone by a dog walker on the bank of the River Frome, Dorset. We waited to see if her mum would return, but no luck – so we brought her to safety. She is enjoying her salmon and is quite feisty! We hope to eventually pair her up as otters gain more confidence in pairs.
Found crying on a riverbank in Wiltshire, Ryley was initially feisty and hesitant to accept our help, but is now enjoying the run of one of our outdoor enclosures. He will stay with us now to complete his 9 months of rehabilitation.
Puddles joined us very recently from a village near Taunton, Somerset. He was found alone on a river with high water levels, and so after hours of monitoring and no sign of mum, he was brought to us. He has a year of rehab and enrichment ahead before his release.
Named after the vet that saved his life, Tom was very poorly when found on a riverbank in Essex, and close to dying, and only the dedication from the vet saved the day. Tom has settled in well here in Devon, and we hope his confidence will continue to grow.
Merlin came to us from another rescue after being found in Somerset, and hadn’t experienced much of the outdoors. He will take a bit of time to adjust to the sounds, smells, and space here in Devon, but we are excited to begin his rehabilitation!
Little Islay was found in a garden in Leicestershire curled up and alone. After being taken to a wildlife rescue centre to be stabilised for her trip to us, she joined us in Devon in mid-July 2020.
Ribble was found, cold and small, by a dog walker in Preston. Once she arrived with us and had enjoyed some food, it turned out that she was a little fighter – and a biter – so we decided to pair her up with Baggins. Although he’s bigger, she’s the boss for sure!
Baggins was found in Cinderford in November, and came to us for care. We decided to pair him up with Ribble, another new cub, as companionship in their early days is vital for confidence and learning. They’ve taken to each other well, so they’ll stay together until we can release them into the wild.
Boris was found curled up behind some dustbins, alone, in Salisbury in April 2020. There was no sign of his mum, so he was brought in for care.
Sasi joined us in February 2020 from the RSPCA! She’s a hugely grumpy and unfriendly little otter, which is a wonderful thing and will be essential when she returns to the wild.
3-year-old Reggie has joined us from the Tamar Otter Centre, which has very sadly closed its doors. He was found emaciated and seriously injured from a suspected dog attack, and has shown some neurological struggles, so will stay with us forever. We will completely spoil this gentle otter and give him a special enrichment program to help him settle in!
We have recently taken in a year-old, captive-bred otter called Maxwell from the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey, who will act as a resident otter ambassador for the UKWOT in Devon, and stay with us indefinitely. He is currently enjoying his 2.5-acre enclosure, which was built especially for him!