1. ITV Report

Animal rescuers release pictures of otter caught in illegal trap

Otter trapped in snare Photo: Secret World Animal Rescue

The animal was found trapped by a snare at Bleadon near Weston-super-Mare. The otter, which was an adult male, was taken to a veterinary hospital but despite appearing in a stable condition at first, it suddenly deteriorated and died two days later from internal bleeding.

Dying otter at Secret World Animal Rescue Credit: Secret World Animal Rescue

According to Secret World Wildlife Rescue, the snare appeared to have been deliberately placed to catch otters and a stake had been driven into the mud in order to secure it.

Snare which trapped otter Credit: Secret World Animal Rescue

"It is such a waste to see an otter in prime condition killed by a thoughtless person who had no qualms in setting the evil device that has caused pain and trauma to this wild creature.

Set legally, a free-running snare loosens when the animal relaxes, but it can also be set illegally as a self-locking snare. Every time the animal pulls against it the snare gets tighter and tighter, causing horrendous wounds and eventually killing the animal.

These snares are indiscriminate – cats and dogs have been caught up in them too – and we think they should be banned."

– Pauline Kidner, Founder Secret World
Dying otter at rescue centre Credit: Secret World Animal Rescue

A £300 reward for information about what happened to the otter has been offered by the UK Wild Otters Trust. Anyone with news regarding the setting of the snare should call 101 and contact wildlife liaison officer PC Peter Wills.

You can see footage of the otter at Secret World before he died below: