Ron the otter pup recovers after rescue at roadside

A BABY otter found lying at the side of a road is thriving after being rescued, a wildlife charity said yesterday.

• Ron the otter pup is being raised by SSPCA wildlife experts and will be released into the wild once he is about a year old Picture: SSPCA/PA

The five-week-old pup was spotted on the outskirts of Huntly, Aberdeenshire, by a motorist who took it to a vet.

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The otter was then passed to the SSPCA and is being cared for at the animal protection charity's Wildlife Rescue Centre in Middlebank, Fife.

It is hoped the otter, named Ron after the River Deveron which flows through Huntly, will be released into the wild when he is old enough to look after himself.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: "Ron is being bottle-fed every four hours from 7am until midnight.

"He's coming on in leaps and bounds, and we will shortly be weaning him with fish.

"Once he is able to feed himself he will be taken to the International Otter Survival Fund on Skye, where he will benefit from being amongst other otters of a similar age.

"The long-term goal is for him to be released back into the wild, but he still has a long way to go yet.

"Young otters are dependent on their mothers until they are about 12 months old, so orphans like Ron need to be kept in captivity until they reach the age that they would naturally be finding their own way in the wild."

Ron was found in mid-December, but it is not known how the otter came to be at the roadside. His mother may have died or abandoned him.

SSPCA inspector Lesley Crockett said: "He was very lucky to be found, as it was a dark, miserable day and pouring with rain."