Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre

Young orphan otter cub found in a bin is rescued

The RSPCA were called to rescue a young orphan otter cub which was found in a bin in Durham suffering from hypothermia.

A member of the public spotted the otter in a bin near Sunderland Road on Christmas Eve and as she looked gravely ill they rushed the animal to a nearby vet. 

The vet alerted the RSPCA and Inspector Steph Baines and she took the otter cub to be treated at a wildlife establishment in North Yorkshire.

Steph said: “It appears that someone found the tiny otter cub and because she was so cold thought she was dead so discarded her in a bin. Then another member of the public later noticed some movement so rushed her to a nearby vets.

“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 a couple of days Inspector Claire Little, based in North Yorkshire, transported Eve to the Our Centre which is based just outside Nantwich, in Cheshire.

Eve will now be rehabilitated at the centre and once she has fully recovered will be 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. 

“The RSPCA teams are out rescuing animals across England and Wales this winter. We have to be there for all kinds of animals who need help, including wildlife. We rely entirely on donations so we’re calling on animal lovers to Join the Rescue to help keep our teams doing whatever it takes to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife.”

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.

Our rescue teams will be out in all weathers this winter, rescuing animals from abuse, neglect and suffering.  To Join the Rescue and help our rescuers be there for the animals in need, please visit 

To support the ongoing work of Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre please donate to their Justgiving site: