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Otter cub saved after drifting away from family in heavy rain

A fisherman spotted the animal in distress during a trip to the River Ness on Wednesday.

Rescued: James Buchanan saved the otter cub.
Rescued: James Buchanan saved the otter cub. Inverness Angling Club / Scottish SPCA

An otter cub is recuperating in a wildlife centre after being washed away from his family in the Highlands following heavy rain.

An Inverness Angling Club member spotted the animal in distress during a fishing trip to the River Ness on Wednesday.

James Buchanan, from Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshire, was fishing in the Little Isle Pool early in the morning when he heard the cub's screams from the opposite side of the river.

He said: "I thought it was a couple of birds of prey screaming at each other.

"But then fellow angler Donnie Cameron pointed out that it was a cub otter which appeared to be in some distress.

"I followed it downstream, crossed the Infirmary Bridge and found it lying partly on the bank.

"It seemed utterly exhausted and appears to have been separated from its mother and siblings by the high water of last week.

"I got a couple of bites when trying to pick it up, so I took off my shirt and wrapped it up in that."

The cub settled down by the time it reached the anglers' hut.

A Scottish SPCA officer then arrived to take it into the animal welfare charity's care.

Recuperating: The otter will be released back into the wild.
Recuperating: The otter will be released back into the wild. Scottish SPCA

Inverness Angling Club acting president Alex Elliott said that the members enjoy seeing the otters on the river.

He stated: "They are a key element of the wildlife habitat provided by the city's unique Ness Islands.

"James did a really good job in rescuing this cub. Hopefully, it will make a full recovery and return to its native river."

The cub is now recuperating and will be released back into the wild when it is back to full health.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Rachael Fossey said: "It's quite common for otter cubs to be flushed out when there is wet weather, flooding or heavy rain.

"When I arrived, the otter was lethargic and tired. This could be due to not having nourishment from his mum and the stress of the situation.

"I took the young otter to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre where he will recuperate and when he is well enough, he will be released back into the wild."

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