Otter rescued in Lake District by RSPCA being rehabilitated for return to wild

Windy the otter, who was rescued from a beck near Windermere. Credit: RSPCA

An abandoned otter cub has been rescued from a stream in the Lake District.

This animal - who has been given the name Windy - was spotted in a beck near Windermere on Tuesday making contact calls for his mother.

He seemed distressed and was not moving around so a member of the public made a call to the RSPCA.

Martyn Fletcher, a rescuer from the society, captured the cub then took him to a nearby vets before he was transferred from Cumbria to the RSPCA’s  Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, near Nantwich, in Cheshire.

Windy will be monitored and then returned to the wild but this process will take approximately 12 months.

Mr Fletcher said:

He pointed out that the animal had flystrike - when flies lay their eggs on fur - and had the eggs hatched Windy would not have survived. Mr Fletcher thanked the member of the public for reporting what they saw.

Windy is being rehabilitated in Cheshire. Credit: RSPCA

Mr Fletcher added: "Windy seems to be quite lively now in our care so his condition will be monitored and he will be cared for until he is ready to be released back into the wild. Rescuing and rehabilitating animals like this is such an important part of what we do as a charity."

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “Otters have struggled over the years and they are certainly making a comeback in the wild, hence why we are seeing more arriving at the centre.

“They weren’t safe from being hunted until 1978, at which point numbers were low, but over time their numbers have steadily started to rise and they can now be found in most counties in England and Wales. As a result we are seeing more being brought into Stapeley Grange.

He also said it can cost up to £4,000 to return a pair of otter cubs to the wild.

Anyone who sees a wild animal in need can call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234999.