A young otter cub has been rescued after being discovered in a bin in Durham on Christmas Eve.
A member of the public spotted the otter amongst the rubbish near Sunderland Road on December 24 and rushed the animal to a nearby vet, who alerted the RSPCA.
The tiny animal, who was suffering from hypothermia due to the cold, has been named Eve because of the day she was found.
It's suspected someone found the cub and dumped her in the bin, assuming she was already dead.
RSPCA's Inspector Steph Baines said: “She was suffering from hypothermia due to the cold and had to be warmed up slowly and then she was given fluids and hand-reared with kitten milk mixed with fish every two hours and started to recover from her ordeal. We decided to name her Eve as she was found on Christmas Eve.”
After being treated at a wildlife establishment in North Yorkshire, Eve was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire, where she will be rehabilitated before being returned to the wild.
Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “It is always very exciting to have an otter cub with us as up until the 1980s they were struggling in the wild.
“They weren’t protected by legislation until 1978, at which point numbers were low, but over time their numbers have steadily increased and they have made a comeback in most counties in the UK.
"As a result we are seeing more being brought into Stapeley Grange. Otter rehabilitation is very specialised and you need to have suitable facilities to care for them. Young otter cubs can be with us for up to 12 months before they can be returned to the wild so their care is not only time consuming but expensive."
If a member of the public sees a wild animal in need of help, they can call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.