AN animal sanctuary has revealed how it saved orphaned baby otter brothers from certain death.
The pair, just 10 days old, were rescued after their mother was killed by a car in September.
Suffering from cold and lack of food, the pups were found at two locations in the mainland Shetland village of Vidlin.
Staff at the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary have nursed the pair – called Joey and Thea – back to health over the past eight weeks.
They are confident they will be able to release the pair back into the wild by the summer of next year.
Touching video and photographs show the remarkable transformation of the brothers since they were rescued, one from a school playground and the other from fishing creels.
Jan Bevington, who runs the centre, recalled the moment in September when the brothers were reunited.
She said: “They just rushed at one another and rolled over and over. It was instant recognition.”
The 67-year-old added: “Thea was in better condition than Joey was.
“He had hypothermia. I used hot water bottles and woolly jumpers to heat him up.”
Jan, who has been running the sanctuary for 28 years, estimated the otters were just 10 days old when they were discovered.
“Otters are usually with their mum until they are 10 or 11 months old, this will be a long process. They need fed every four hours night and day.”
Now about two months old Joey and Thea are going from strength to strength and have moved out of Jan’s home into an outdoor ‘otter shed’.
They are now being fed a diet of of lumpy fish soup out of a ceramic bowl that Thea keeps crewing – “it’s something to do with teething I think,” said Jan.
“We’ll have to wait until next August until they are released. They will be in an outdoor pen before that,” she continued.
“They are wonderfully playful with one another,” Jan laughed. “They are fiery little so and so’s. Right now if I put my hand in the box they would rip my finger off.”
To donate to Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary go to their website at www.shetlandwildlifesanctuary.com