1. ITV Report

Otter cubs spotted at East Yorkshire wildlife reserve

Otter cubs Photo: Darren Smith

Two otter cubs have been spotted in an area of East Yorkshire where it was thought the breed no longer lived. They were seen playing with their mother in frozen marshland at Tophill Low water treatment works near Driffield. Yorkshire Water, which runs the site, has been working over the past few years to encourage otter populations in the area, creating wetland habits which are ideal for the species.

The pictures show a female with her two cubs which are believed to be around two months old.

Female otter Credit: Darren Smith

We're absolutely delighted that all our hard-work and investment appears to be paying off, with the sighting of a female and her two cubs.We knew that we had a least one otter around the site, but this is the first confirmation we've had of a breeding success at the reserve in the last few years.Whilst nature created otters as daytime hunters, historical persecution has generally changed their behaviour and now they are only usually seen around dawn and dusk, with daytime sightings tending to be quite rare.We believe that the mother and cubs have had to evacuate their nearby holt after it became flooded during the heavy rain, which is why we're seeing these cubs up and about slightly earlier than we'd normally expect.However, it's common for the mother to have at least three nearby homes available to her, so any move is unlikely to be stressful and from the pictures alone, they all look to be in good health and enjoying themselves."

– Richard Hampshire, Yorkshire Water warden