|Lucky, the Otter cub - 3rd March 2004|
|Otters are generally at home in water, but for one of our baby otters a few laps around a small pond proved almost fatal.
The three and a half month old Asian short clawed otter, now christened Lucky, was one of a litter of six produced by mum and dad Fliss and Chipz.
Nigel Croasdale, our Sanctuary Manager, explains what happened - ″Otter cubs don´t normally start to swim until about four months old and then usually under close supervision from their parents″.
″What happened on this occasion is that the pups were enjoying a bit of rough-and-tumble whilst the adults snoozed in their holt, and little Lucky got knocked into the pond″. ″He managed to swim alright, but the water was very cold, and Lucky is still too young to have properly developed the protective fat layers that he will get as he gets older″.
Concerned staff members heard Lucky´s plaintive cries and quickly fished him from the pond with a long net, but when they placed him on the ground he was unable to stand up and began shivering violently.
″He was obviously getting hypothermic″, said Nigel, ″so we rushed him indoors and dried him out under the warm hand-dryer in the toilets″.
″Then we took him into the office, wrapped him in a big towel and kept him in front of a heater for nearly three hours″. |
″Lucky was shivering violently for a very long time and we were really worried about him, but all of a sudden he stopped shaking, stood up, took a long look round and then started running round the office squeaking and snarling at us″. Staff soon scooped him up again, and returned him to his family, where there was a noisy and happy reunion.
″It was a bit of a scare″, said Nigel. ″But all´s well that ends well, and Lucky is now romping around with his brothers and sisters as if nothing ever happened″.