Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre

Otterly adorable! Orphaned baby otter starts year-long rehabilitation

An otter cub, just days old, is recovering at an RSPCA wildlife centre after being found all on her own with no mum nearby.

The little otter was found by a member of the public with her eyes still closed and suffering from hypothermia next to the Menai Strait, in Bangor, on Monday last week (1 October).

It is not known for certain why she was on her own, but it could be that she was separated from her mum because of flood waters, or her mum died after being hit by a vehicle.

She is now at the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, Cheshire, where she will begin her rehabilitation in preparation to being returned to the wild - a process which can take around 12 months for such young otter cubs.

As she will be at the centre for a long time, she has affectionately been given a name - Bramble.

Staff at the centre are hand-feeding her five times a day. When Bramble has put on weight she will be introduced to little pieces of squashed trout to encourage her to feed on her own.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “Bramble is very sweet and she is feeding well. At the moment she is being bottle fed Royal Canin milk formula five times a day and we hope that very soon she will be able to start eating little pieces of trout.

“She does seem to enjoy being fed the milk and it is very cute to see her suckling on the bottle. We are monitoring her closely and she is doing well considering what she has been through but she has a long road ahead of here before she can go home.

“We try to get our otter cubs on to fish as soon as possible so we can limit the amount of human contact they have as it is very important to keep them wild during their time with us.

“It is always very exciting to have an otter cub with us as up until the 1970s they were struggling in the wild,” added Lee. “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 have made a comeback in most counties in the UK. As a result we are seeing more being brought into RSPCA Stapeley.”

As otter cubs have a long rehabilitation, the cost of feeding them during their rehabilitation is high - Bramble’s food bill for the next year is likely to reach £1,500 - and that does not take into account the costs of her gradual release next year.

Anyone who would like to donate to Bramble’s food bill can do so online at

If you see an animal in distress you can ring the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 123 4999. For more advice on what to do if you encounter a wild animal that is injured, orphaned or in need of help, visit the RSPCA website on