AN otter who got himself into a sticky situation at a refinery has been rescued by the RSPCA.
RSPCA officers were called to Vale Europe Limited’s Clydach Nickel Refinery on Tuesday [10 February] after staff found an otter hiding a few inches beneath a fast moving conveyor belt.
Following a call to the RSPCA, animal collection officer (ACO) Ellie West attended within minutes and was later joined by inspector Nigel Duguid and animal welfare officer Andrew Harris.
ACO West said: “The refinery had to stop their work and had to close everything down as the otter was underneath one of the belts.”
Thanks to some quick thinking by the rescue team the otter was cornered and was successfully rescued.
“It was extremely difficult to get to him, but we finally managed to get him out,” said ACO West.
The adult otter – named Ludwig by the refinery after Ludwig Mond who founded the refinery in 1902 – was then taken to a veterinary surgery for an examination.
“He has a few infected bite wounds from territorial fighting with another otter,” said ACO West. “Most are superficial but he has quite a nasty one under his chin and we need to see how this heals once on the correct antibiotics.
“It is quite nasty bless him so we will need to monitor if it affects him eating.”
ACO West has now taken him to RSPCA’s specialist wildlife centre in Somerset, West Hatch, for rehabilitation.
UK Environmental Superintendent from the refinery, Lee Davies, said: “The whole experience was a steep learning curve for all involved, none of whom had been involved in a situation as unusual as this. The happy ending was only possible through the experience of the RSPCA officers and their collaboration with staff.
“We wish to extend our thanks to the RSPCA team who adhered with our strict safety rules and procedures that are essential on an industrial site such as ours, who at all times remained calm and very professional.
“We wish Ludwig a speedy recovery and hope he’ll be well enough to be released back into the wild soon.”
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