Last month, two otter cubs arrived at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre.
The male, who we’ve named Roy, was found near Aberfoyle and the female, called Talla, was found near Hawick. Both had been separated from their mothers, most likely due to heavy rain and high-running rivers.
Otters cannot survive in the wild without their mother until they are about one-year-old. This means Roy and Talla will remain in our care for about a year. Both were 10-12 weeks old when they arrived at the centre in mid-February.
As they are a similar size and age and due to behaviours they can learn from each other, we have introduced them and they are getting on well. Over the coming months they’ll be reared together and will bond until they are released as a pair. The main advantage of caring for otters in a group is it minimises human contact, which is important for successful reintroduction to the wild. We will do our best to time their release to coincide with when they would naturally disperse from their parents and become independent in the wild.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, otters in the UK were driven to near extinction. However, thanks to improvements in water quality and their status as a protected species, the population has recovered.
It typically costs £1,000 to care for an otter cub for a year. Since our National Wildlife Rescue Centre opened, we’ve reared dozens of otters and successfully released them back in to the wild.
Every year the Scottish SPCA rescues thousands of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.
In 2017 we cared for over 9,600 wild animals - a new record!
We help every kind of wild animal in Scotland and are the only national animal welfare charity which rescues birds.