Bramble the otter

An otter cub, just days old, is recovering at the Stapeley Grange RSPCA wildlife centre in Nantwich after being found all on her own with no mum nearby.

The little otter, named Bramble by staff, was found by a member of the public with her eyes still closed and suffering from hypothermia next to the Menai Strait, in Bangor.

It is feared she was separated from her mum because of flood waters, or her mum died after being hit by a vehicle.

She is now at the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre on London Road where she will begin her rehabilitation in preparation to being returned to the wild – which can take 12 months.

Staff at the centre are hand-feeding her five times a day.

When Bramble has put on weight she will be introduced to little pieces of squashed trout to encourage her to feed on her own.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “Bramble is very sweet and she is feeding well.

“At the moment she is being bottle fed Royal Canin milk formula five times a day and we hope that very soon she will be able to start eating little pieces of trout.

“She does seem to enjoy being fed the milk and it is very cute to see her suckling on the bottle.

“We are monitoring her closely and she is doing well considering what she has been through but she has a long road ahead of here before she can go home.

Bramble otter being fed

Bramble being fed

“We try to get our otter cubs on to fish as soon as possible so we can limit the amount of human contact they have as it is very important to keep them wild during their time with us.

“It is always very exciting to have an otter cub with us as up until the 1970s they were struggling in the wild,” added Lee.

“They weren’t safe from being hunted until 1978, at which point numbers were low, but over time their numbers have steadily started to rise and they have made a comeback in most counties in the UK.

“We are seeing more being brought into RSPCA Stapeley.”

Otter cubs have a long rehabilitation, and the cost of feeding them is high.

Bramble’s food bill for the next year is likely to reach £1,500.

Anyone who would like to donate to Bramble’s food bill can do so online at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/rspcahq/stapeleygrange

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