THESE photos show a ferocious otter cub recovering after being found under a pile of rags.
The orphan, called Rona, was found by salmon fishermen on their boat in Ronas Voe, east of mainland Shetland last month.
She was taken to the Hillswick Wildlife sanctuary to rest and recuperate.
But despite her size and rough start to life, she is feisty and even bites the hands of staff who feed her.
Jan Bevington, 68, who runs the sanctuary, said her husband Pete, 55, had been called in to rescue the otter.
She said: “She is really ferocious. She squealed like mad when we were putting her in the cage.
“For such a little one we did get a shock. But they are ferocious wee creatures. You never know when she’s going to stop feeding and bite your finger.
“She’s more than doubled in size since we rescued her. But she’s still a small otter. She’s one of the smallest I’ve had – and one of the fiercest.”
Rona was first fed on bottled milk designed for puppies but yesterday fans of Hillswick’s Facebook page were delighted after being told she had moved on to fish soup.
The 2-3 week old baby otter had been found curled up on a pile of rags in the cabin of a small boat used by a fish farm.
Dehydrated and starving, and without a mother, she was unlikely to have survived much longer.
Pictures taken by Shetland photographer John Moncrieff show the otter being bottle fed – by a carer with very thick gloves.
And a video released yesterday (Tuesday) shows her drinking a soup made from liquidised whiting and taking her first steps outside.
Another video taken the day she was rescued shows Pete Bevington gingerly lifting the snarling creature from under a pile of rags on the boat and placing her in a cage.
Other footage shows her snuggling up to a cashmere-covered hot water bottle.
Fans of Hillswick’s Facebook page were suitably respectful of her sharp teeth.
Diane M. Houdek wrote: “She even looks tough! Hopefully it will serve her well in the wild someday.”
Joy Dashur joked: “ I hope you all get a discount for bulk orders on your tetanus boosters.”
Trevor Scantlebury added: “Looks exceedingly pi**d off about something.”
Michael Robertson: “Cheeky chappy, love it.”
Visit Hillswick’s Facebook page and see the videos here: https://www.facebook.com/HillswickWildlifeSanctuary/?fref=ts