HE may be small – but this little chap is one little fighter.
This orphaned otter cub was found at the side of a road near a village called Star, near Llanfyrnach, Pembrokeshire.
A member of public found him on Thursday [8 January] and thought he was dead but on closer inspection saw him breathing.
She took him home and placed him in a box wrapped up in towels on the floor that had underfloor heating.
RSPCA animal collection officer Ellie West said when she arrived the eight week old otter was cold and extremely weak and wet from the bad weather the night before.
“The caller kindly filled my hot water bottle for him and I travelled him back to my home where I set him up in a heated cage,” she said.
“He was started on antibiotics by a vet as he had pneumonia and I gave him injections of fluids under the skin to try and hydrate him as at that time he was far too weak to swallow fluids properly.”
Ellie said he was in such a bad way she didn’t expect him to survive – but luckily his condition started to improve.
“After a few hours he was much warmer and comfortable and he actually suckled rehydration fluids from a syringe with a teat readily,” she said.
“At 2am when I fed him he was already like a different cub, livelier and looking happier.
“The next morning I managed to get him to take some milk replacement with the rehydration fluids too and then I transported him to the RSPCA’s West Hatch Wildlife Centre to carry on his rehabilitation.
“I couldn’t believe the change in him in less than 24 hours. He is a real little fighter bless him.”
Ellie, who named the cub Star, said he will now continue his recovery at West Hatch before being sent to a specialist facility for otter cubs where he will remain until he is old enough to fend for himself in the wild.
This otter cub had somehow become separated from his mother and could have died without intervention.
However, the RSPCA would like to remind people that before touching any baby wild animal, we always advise monitoring first to check that it is genuinely orphaned or abandoned, as mum is often nearby and waiting for you to leave.
If you are concerned for the welfare of a young wild animal that seems to be alone, please watch from a distance and call the RSPCA’s Cruelty & Advice line on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA with rescues like this, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message)