Abandoned otter makes furry friend


By Alexander Lawrie

AN otter saved from death by a kind-hearted postie has found a new best friend – a three-month-old kitten called Kevin.

Orla the otter was found last week lying abandoned in the middle of a country road by postman Kenny Wilson as he drove to a car rally in the Highlands.

But when Kenny tried to help the otter to the side of the road, the friendly bundle of fur kept coming back to him.

So he decided to take the abandoned otter on his 240-mile trip to the Highlands and back before handing his furry friend over to a local animal charity, near St Boswells.

And the cute little otter cub has now become best buddies with another of the centre’s rescued animals – Kevin the kitten.

Shona Middlemas, manager of Arthurshiel Rescue Centre, said the cuddly pair have become inseparable since Orla arrived.

Shona said: “It’s quite rare for us to have an otter brought to us; we only had two last year.

“But Orla has settled in nicely and is doing really well. Her and Kevin have become firm friends – it might be something to do with all the fish Orla has been getting.

“Kevin has trouble with his back legs and can’t be re-homed, but I’m hoping once Orla is fully grown we can release her back into the wild.

“We are doing our best to minimise the human contact she receives. She is a wild animal after all, and ideally she should be back in her natural environment.”

And even though the daily food bill for Orla is around £15 per day, Shona has revealed her local Asda supermarket has offered to supply all the fish Orla needs while she recuperates.

She said: “I got a call from Asda saying they would initially donate about two weeks worth of salmon and trout to help out. It was a really kind thing for them to do, and it is much appreciated.

“Breakfast consists of milk and trout, and she loves to play before, during and after mealtimes.

“She also has a special bed she loves – it’s a furry hot water bottle cover turned inside out which she squeezes into.”

Postie Kenny Wilson was on his was to car rally in the Highlands when he spotted the cold and terrified otter cub in the road last Sunday.

After checking with local residents to find out if any adult otters had been seen nearby, he decided to take the otter cub with him on his marathon journey.

He said: “The cub couldn’t find its mother and, in the time I watched, it was almost run over by three cars.

“I picked it up from the road and put it on the banking, but it kept coming back to the road.

“The otter was absolutely frozen and there was no evidence of the adult otters nearby. So I had no choice but to take it with me on a 240-mile tour of the Highlands for a classic car rally I was doing.

“I wrapped it in a jumper and stuck it in a postbag I had with me.

“It slept away fine.”

On his return Kenny handed the otter cub into the animal centre that will look after the otter cub for the next eight to ten months.


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