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Otterly adorable: Orphans celebrate their wild side


Playful otter cubs “Solent” and “Sarum” are busy building their strength up at our West Hatch Animal Centre in Somerset in preparation for being introduced back into the wild.

The two otters - found at Nursling near Southampton and Old Sarum Hill Fort near Salisbury - have been learning the skills they will need once they're released.

Solent the otter keeping warm in blankets © RSPCA

Solent was so young when she was rescued that, at first, she had to be hand-reared. But once she could fend for herself, as with all otters, staff at the wildlife centre were careful not to handle her too much so that she remained as wild as possible. Sarum arrived a couple of months later, and being social animals of similar ages, they were put together. 

They spent last winter in a pool pen indoors, but once the weather got better, the West Hatch staff put a pool outside in the paddock, where they're now having fun frolicking in and out of the water.

Bel Deering, Manager of our West Hatch Animal Centre in Somerset said: 

Solent and Sarum enjoy eating trout, which we buy fresh for them. They are very playful and have really enjoyed being out in the paddock having vegetation and water to play around it.

They adapt things they find to play with - like a length of hose or sticks. They are very social and play together, which helps them to develop their skills for living and hunting in the wild once they are old enough for release.

Our advice on orphaned wild animals

Take a look at our orphaned animals page which has some useful advice. If you’re worried about a baby animal that seems to be alone, don’t touch it but just watch it from a distance. We receive many calls about young animals from people who think they are orphaned but it’s likely that the parents are nearby, waiting for people to leave.

Keep an eye on it to see if the parents return. If you’re sure the animal has been orphaned, call us on 0300 1234 999.

Help support our work

To help us continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please donate what you can online or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3

(Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message. Text to donate terms and conditions).

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