Orphaned otter cubs rescued from Antermony Loch

The two rescued otter cubs
The two rescued otter cubs

Two orphaned otter cubs have been rescued after a chance encounter with two fishermen.

On Sunday, January 29, Jim Twaddle, President of the Caurnie Angling Club, was on the banks of the club’s water, Antermony Loch near Milton of Campsie, when he heard an animal squeaking.

Looking round he saw an otter cub in the reeds just a few feet away from him.

The following day the club’s Treasurer, Jim McSkimming, was doing some repairs at the loch when he was also approached by the cub.

It appeared unafraid but was moving very slowly and was in some distress.

He called Jim Twaddle, who joined him at the loch and, after some time and seeing no evidence of the mother, they contacted the RSPCA, who advised it should be taken to a local vet.

At the Martin Veterinary Centre, in the Marina at Kirkintilloch, the cub was examined and they suggested that it should be taken to the Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre in Beith.

They kindly provided an animal transport cage, which the two Jims used to take the young otter to the Rescue Centre where the staff said that it was a male and appeared to be only a few months old and very weak.

They undertook to look after it and provide any necessary treatment, saying that it would be a year or so before it is mature enough to be returned to the wild.

The next day, the Rescue Centre staff said that the cub was uninjured but malnourished, devouring everything put in front of it.

They suggested that the cub may have been abandoned or its mother killed.

This information led to a search at the loch, and on Tuesday, Jim McSkimming found a second, smaller, bedraggled cub in the long grass by the lochside. This was also taken to the Veterinary Centre, who arranged for it to be uplifted by a Rescue Centre volunteer, where it was found to be a female.

Jim Twaddle said: “Already the cubs are looking much better than when they were found, so hopefully they will make a full recovery and can be released into the loch, to join the other wildlife that thrives there.”