A heroic animal lover stepped in to save an ailing otter from a major Yorkshire road - after spotting it limping across the hectic carriageway.
When the RSPCA’s Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Leanne Honess-Heather received a report about an otter injured by traffic, she feared the worst.
In a race against time, Leanne rushed to the scene - an address just off the busy A64 in Malton, 1.5 miles from the River Derwent. There, at the house of a concerned animal lover, she found a little otter cub, no older than eight-weeks.
ACO Honess-Heather said: “This gorgeous little otter cub had been spotted crossing the busy A64 by an eagle-eyed member of the public.
“The animal lover had been looking out of his window when he saw this poor creature tumbling across the road. She was dragging her back leg, so he thinks she may have been clipped by a car. Rushing outside, he managed to gently take her to safety before calling our RSPCA emergency hotline. When I arrived, I found the otter quietly curled up in the house-holder’s laundry basket.
“I’d been expecting a much larger animal, so was surprised to see how young the little thing was. We suspect that she became separated from her mother, took a wrong turning and got lost trying to find her way back home to the nearby River Derwent.”
ACO Honess-Heather then assessed the otter for injuries.
Although there were no cuts or wounds, she was holding her leg at an awkward angle so Leanne took her to Battle Flatts Vets in Stamford Bridge.
Here, vets Mike Jones and Mark Naguib carried out a full examination and took x-rays to check for any injuries. They determined the cub was female and weighed 1.25kg. Luckily the x-ray showed no broken bones. She was just bruised, cold and hungry, so was given food and fluids and perked up instantly.
Named Flow, she was temporarily taken into care by Jean Thorpe at Ryedale Rehabilitation, who reported that ‘Flow’ was soon walking normally and seemed none the worst for her experience.
After a few days little Flow was strong enough to be transferred to one of the RSPCA’s wildlife centres and she will soon be moved to specialist facilities near the South Coast where she will be rehabilitated. It is hoped that eventually, she can be released back into the wild close to where she was found near the River Derwent.
RSPCA ACO Honess-Heather added: “Having crossed one of the busiest roads in the Malton area, Flow the little otter is lucky to be alive. We’d like to thank the alert member of the public who rescued her in the nick of time, and for the expert support from Battle Flatts Vets and Ryedale Rehabilitation.”
If you see an animal in distress, please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.