South Scotland

'Crying' otter cub found on Kirkcudbright doorstep

Buddy the otter Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Buddy the otter was found at the back door of a house in Kirkcudbright

An otter found "crying" on a doorstep in Dumfries and Galloway is being cared for by an animal charity.

The Scottish SPCA believe the cub became separated from its mother during severe weather in the region last weekend.

It was discovered at the back door of a house in Kirkcudbright on Monday morning.

Animal welfare officers believe the otter, which they have nicknamed 'Buddy', is just 10 weeks old.

The cub is weak and underweight but said to be improving on a diet of milk and fish.

It is now one of 15 otter cubs being cared for at the charity's national wildlife rescue centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire.

Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption The cub is being fed fish and milk at the rescue centre in Clackmannanshire
Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Buddy is underweight and weak but is said to be improving

Centre manager Colin Seddon said it has been their busiest ever year for otter cubs.

He added: "Buddy will be introduced to our three youngest cubs, Ebb, Tide and Wave, who were also found without their mothers.

"They will stay with us for around a year until they are old enough to fend for themselves back in the wild."

Last month two orphaned cubs were found on a flooded river bank at Earlston and another was found in Brechin.

Mr Seddon said: "This is a very hazardous time for young otters as they can easily be washed out of their holts by high rivers and at that age they are not accomplished swimmers.

"If separated from their mothers, they may well perish.

"We would appeal to the public to be watchful, especially in areas affected by the recent floods.

"If anyone hears or sees any animals they think may be in distress they should contact our animal helpline for advice on 03000 999 999."

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