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Community / Wildlife sanctuary comes to the rescue of Roger the otter cub

A LOCALLY based wildlife sanctuary came to rescue of an otter cub on Friday after its mum left the tiny creature abandoned at Ulsta, on the island of Yell, following an encounter she had with a minibus.

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary said the cub lost its mother under the “most unfortunate circumstances”, when she darted out in front of the minibus.

Driver Keith Nisbet slammed on the brakes sure that he must have hit the creature but when he climbed out of his minibus to investigate the otter had disappeared leaving the cub behind.

Peter Bevington of the sanctuary takes up the story: “Keith faced a quandary, he could not leave the cub on the road in case it was injured by another vehicle, so he moved it to the side of the road hoping the mother would return.

“He went away for 15 minutes and came back to find the cub still there and no mother.

“It had started snowing and there was a strong, cold wind blowing in as well. Consulting with the owners of the Ulsta shop, Jean and Roger Smith, they called otter expert Brydon Thomason on Unst, the SSPCA and ourselves.”

Realising that the mother would not come back for her cub, the tiny creature was taken to the Yell ferry where David Barnes took charge of looking after it, keeping it warm under his jacket.

Bevington continued: “We met the ferry at Toft and drove back to the sanctuary, the cub sleeping all the way.

“Once here at Hillswick we managed to syringe some Lactol down his throat. Three feeds later he seems content and is sleeping in his box in the warmth. He’s a wee male and Keith has called him Roger.

“This is the second youngest otter we have ever cared for. Last year we tried looking after Charlie who was about 10 days old. He sadly died after just a few days with us.

“We think Roger is a little older as his fur has started turning from grey to brown, but his eyes have yet to open. We realise this will be quite a challenge, but we will do our best for him.”

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary is a charity run by Jan and Pete Bevington. More information about their work can be found here, including a link for donations.