Two tiny otter pups rescued from a water mill


We rescued two tiny otter pups – less than five weeks old and 500g each – from a water mill in the Layham area of Suffolk.

The tiny duo were found by the mill owner, who’d been visiting the venue and had heard the faint sound of crying. When they went to investigate they discovered the pups in their den, which was underneath the water wheel. But sadly there was no sign of the pups’ mum.

The member of the public called us and an officer attended on Friday 29 December. Following advice it was decided to leave the pups in their den in case mum returned, as it's always best to leave them with their parent if at all possible.

The wheel was jammed to prevent it moving and the pups left in situ in the hope mum would return overnight. But sadly when we went to check on the pups the next morning, there was still no sign of mum.

We'll do all we can to keep them safe

Our Animal Collection Officer Amy Marjoram said:

We'd hoped that she'd have returned to her pups because it'd be better for them to remain with her rather than being taken out of the wild and into care.

However when I returned to check on them there was still no sign of mum and I was worried about their welfare. So I immediately took them in, and with the help of a neighbour we warmed them up before taking them straight to our East Winch Wildlife Centre.

They really are the tiniest things, and it’s really sad that their mum has not returned but we'll do all we can to keep them safe in the hope of returning them to the wild in the future.

I'd like to thank the home owners and their neighbours for all their efforts in helping these two little pups.

Puppy milk formula every three hours

Alison Charles, centre manager, added:

These two little fellas have really had a tough time, and it’s so sad that they're not with mum, because in the wild an otter pup can spend the first 18 months of their life with their parent.

As we are not mum, it does take them a while to get used to feeding from us as they're too small to be given fish just yet. When they came in they were still a little cold but fell asleep on snuggle safes and under a heat lamp.

It's early days as we have to see if they'll take to feeding from us, and they'll need to be fed puppy milk formula every three hours.

Staff and volunteers continue to care for the staggering 517 wild animals and birds at the centre.

Support more wildlife rehabilitation


There are currently 250 hedgehogs, 47 seals and 32 swans at the centre as well as an array of other wildlife casualties.

For more information on what to do if you find an injured or potentially orphaned wild animal, visit the wildlife advice section of our website.

If you would like to support the work of the wildlife centre, you can make a donation through their Amazon wish list, their JustGiving Hedgehog appeal or their Easy Fundraising page.

Share this...