When two women in Shetland, Scotland came across a baby otter on the side of the road, it was “wailing in shock” as it stood beside the body of its dead mom. The poor cub’s mother had been struck and killed by a car, and it didn’t want to leave her there all alone.
Two women traveling in the area found the otter cub lying next to its mother alongside the A970 last Thursday. They called Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary right away to ask what to do for the poor baby.
Jan Bevington, who founded the sanctuary in 1987, said it was one of the “most heartbreaking scenarios” she had ever witnessed. She released the video in the hopes that it would remind people to slow down on the roads in a bid to help keep the otters safer.
“Two young women, Carolyn and Lauren, found a dead female otter on the side of the road at the Grobsness junction between Aith and Voe tonight,” wrote Jan.
Luckily, the two women had a dog crate in their car. Jan told them to place the mother’s body in the dog carrier, in the hopes that the little one would follow her in. Well, it did precisely that. The baby followed its mama into the crate, and the women were able to take it to safety.
THE LAND OF THE OTTER
Right now, it is that time of year in the area, and many otters are venturing further and further out to find food.
“We’re in the ‘land of the otter’ over here at the moment so there are just so many around at this time of year,” said Jan. “They’re very slinky animals too and they’re amazing in the water but they’re not too fast on land.”
Rescuers at the sanctuary know that people aren’t intentionally trying to hurt the otters, but they hope that they will start to slow down on area roads as a precaution. I know if I lived there, I would be terrified to drive anywhere for fear of hitting one of these adorable creatures.
Not to mention, I always drive cautiously because I hate hitting an animal.
SAT WITH MAMA ALL NIGHT
After they got Gonfirth delivered to the sanctuary, workers there decided to let the little one stay with its mother until morning. They decided it was best not to traumatize the baby further. They were worried about the effects that the horrifying scenario was having on its health, and thought that keeping it calm overnight was the best call.
The cub, who they think is around five months old, sat by the body of its mama and cried. However, Gonfirth also did another thing, which gave workers hope: Gonfirth ate fish. Gonfirth ate a lot of fish.
They gave the youngster plenty of fish and water, and it slurped them right down.
“The otter will be extremely stressed after losing its mother, and that may yet take its toll, especially when we remove its mother form the pen today, so we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Jan.
Last month, workers for the SSPCA said that they found three otters dead in just one day. It isn’t only Scotland, either. There are a lot of people, all around the globe, that could stand to slow down and be more cautious when driving.
I know poor Gonfirth probably wishes they would. Watch the heartbreaking video below: