THE Scottish SPCA is caring for 14 otters at their National Wildlife Rescue Centre at Fishcross this Wildlife Week.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity has cared for 13 otters since the start of the year.
Centre Manager Colin Seddon said, “Otters are dependent on their parents for at least 12 months, this means that they are usually in our care for just over one year. We try to release them at a time they would usually disperse and become independent from their parents in the wild.
“There are many factors that need to be met before we can release them back in the wild; the weather, site location, otter population in the area and land owners’ permission, these must be in place to ensure the best chance of survival.
“If people find an otter cub on its own that is healthy, they should ensure it is in a safe place-away from a road or fast flowing river. If the cub is not calling out, leave it alone, as their mother will not return if humans are around.
“If the cub is still there after an hour or so, call our animal helpline for advice.”
Back in 2013, Murkle, Murphy and Tummel were found sheltering under a wheelie bin during a surfing competition in Thurso. After being rescued, the three cubs thrived at the Scottish SPCA wildlife centre and were later released at a sea loch in the North West of Scotland.
Since the centre opened five years ago, the Society has successfully released 49 otters back into their natural habitat.
Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.