Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Yorkshire Otters

These 2 otter cubs were found alone on a frosty cold evening in Norton at the end of 2009.
I was lucky to get the dog otter cub as he was lost in the skate park near the river.
I can only presume thier mother was killed on the busy road or on the railway line.
They ate well and moved about the pen as one.
I met up with Ed Heap at Woodall Services on the M1 and he took them for rearing to the New Forest Wildlife Park. Otters live with thier mother for the first year so must be reared on in captivity before release.

This June they were ready to return, so a soft release pen was erected near the River Derwent with the help of Craig Ralston, Fallon Mahon and Steve Hiner of Natural England. I went to collect the otters at the services where we parted company 18 months ago.

Mars and Saturn as the New Forest team had called them, were chunky, solid beautiful otters.They travelled up in 2 boxes and were placed in the pen.

We left them to come out of thier travelling boxes at will.
They ate well , splashed about in the paddling pool and made lovely otter tunnels through the rank grasses.
Best of all we never saw them again, they remained secretive, shy and very much the wild beasts we hoped they would be. A big thankyou to the team in the New Forest for rearing them as the wild things they should be. After a fortnight the electric was turned off and the pen quietly flattened and they were free to go as and when. We continued with the food which they ate less of. Footptrints and spraints are seen about the area.
Makes me smile to think they are back under a Yorkshire sky where they began. A big thankyou to all who made this possible.