|Fingal the AWOL Otter is Recaptured|
Fingal the Canadian otter is safely back home after six weeks on the loose from the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary at Oban.
A SEA LIFE team finally recaptured him in a carefully planned operation beneath the Connel Bridge.
Fingal escaped in late November while being moved to a temporary enclosure so that his permanent home could be modified in readiness for some new arrivals.
As soon as it became clear that he had left the immediate vicinity of the Sanctuary at Barcaldine, an appeal was issued for local residents to report sightings of him...and it was members of the public who first spotted him at Connel Bridge.
"We hand-fed him for a couple of days to gain his confidence," said marine expert Lyndsey Crawford. "Then we laid a trap which enabled our vet Sue Thornton to dart him."
"The sedative takes about four seconds to act and of course Fingal's immediate reaction was to head back to the water, but we had a boat waiting and he was netted very easily and handed back to shore."
At some point during his adventure Fingal had lost a chunk off the end of his tail, possibly in a collision with a boat propeller, a fight with a wild otter or getting caught in a trap.
"His wound was cleaned and stitched straight away and apart from having lost a little bit of weight he appears otherwise none-the-worse," said Sanctuary boss Alex Blackman.
"While I've no doubt he had some fun during his absence he seems very glad to be home, with his own nice warm holt to shelter in and regular meals to tuck into.
"We're all very relieved to have him back," he added.
More good news for Fingal, who lost his long-term partner Sula a year ago, has been the arrival of three new friends...two males and a female of the same species relocated from another wildlife centre that has closed down.
"It was for their arrival that Fingal's enclosure was being divided," said Alex, "so that they can get to know each other gradually without risk of any fighting."
"So far they have taken a close look at each other through the dividing fence and the early signs are encouraging."
Issued by The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary|
For more details, please contact Alex Blackman on 01631 720386
Press Release date: 5th January 2009
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