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Otters Al and Ness help flag animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA spotlight Go Wild for Wildlife campaign


By Hector MacKenzie

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April Sorley of the SSPCA with Al and Ness.
April Sorley of the SSPCA with Al and Ness.

MEET Al and Ness, a pair of lucky otter babies found in the Easter Ross town that inspired their names earlier this month.

The pair were taken into the loving care of the Scottish SPCA after the charity was alerted to their plight.

The apparent siblings were found a minute apart in some distress and appear to have lost their mother.

The involvement of the Scottish SPCA can be the difference between life or death for animals like Al and Ness, two baby otters who were found alone without their mother.

Wildlife operations manager, Anna Keen said, “Al, the male otter, and Ness, the female cub, were both found in Alness near Inverness on 8 September.

April Sorley of the SSPCA with Al and Ness.
April Sorley of the SSPCA with Al and Ness.

“The cubs were found just one minute’s walk apart from each other and were the same age and weight, suggesting they are siblings. We think that sadly something must have happened to their mum as they were approaching members of the public and crying.

“Al and Ness only weighed 850g and 870g respectively when they arrived at the centre so they were very tiny.

“As the cubs were so small, a member of our team took them home and hand reared them for nearly two weeks as they couldn’t eat independently yet.

“At this age, baby otters are still dependent on their mothers for food, so it’s unlikely they would have survived if they hadn’t been found.

“Al and Ness are now doing well, gaining weight and getting stronger every day. They’ve moved back to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre at Fishcross and will be grouped with another male otter cub named Forrest who we’re currently caring for.

“All three will stay with us for around a year while they prepare to be released back in to the wild next summer.

“We really hope people will sign up to take part in Go Wild for Wildlife so we can continue the work we do saving animals like Al and Ness for many years to come.”

Those participating in Go Wild for Wildlife can do anything they like to raise funds from hosting virtual bake offs to shaving their head. People are being encouraged to go as wild as possible to raise funds for Scotland’s iconic wildlife.

To find out more about Go Wild for Wildlife, visit scottishspca.org/GoWild

Picture or story for us? Email hector.mackenzie@hnmedia.co.uk

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