Last September, you may remember, MOG received a call about a poorly otter cub near the Forsa river on the Isle of Mull. Sue and Darren Morley responded to the call, and luckily the story ended happily with the female cub, now named Forsa, recovering from her ordeal and finishing her rehabilitation at the SSPCA near Stirling.
This is Forsa, the otter cub, just after being rescued. Read the amazing tell of Dog Rescues Otter!
When an otter is being looked after during their ‘cubhood’ they often do better if they are joined by a friend. So, it wasn’t long before the SSPCA introduced Forsa to her new friend, Kessock, who came from the mainland. They have been together in their comfortable enclosure at the SSPCA ever since.
Almost a year later, and the time came for the two to be released. The SSPCA work hard to keep the otters in their care wild, and not habituated to humans. When it comes to a release site there are certain criteria to meet: it must be safe (away from roads) yet accessible (to minimise stress to the otters as they are carried to their new home), and there must be evidence of good food supplies. There must also be no other otters present due to the risk of competition escalating into fights. Otters are territorial.
When otters are reared together, they are released together. This eases their transition to a wild life, as they keep the companionship of their friend during a difficult period, and they can learn from each other as they adapt to their new home. This leads to another consideration for the release site. Kessock was from an inland freshwater area. Forsa was from the coast. Colin Seddon from the SSPCA tells us that although the same species, coastal otters have a tougher time, and tend to be bigger. Hence it was thought best if Kessock was returned to a freshwater area along with Forsa.
The site chosen was in the borders. They were released recently, and are thriving. You can enjoy the pictures of them being released below. Thanks to Colin Seddon and his team for all of their hard work, and thanks for the lovely pictures. Good luck to Forsa and Kessock.