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Scottish SPCA appeals to public to Go Wild for Wildlife and help animals like otters Al and Ness

Baby otters Al and Ness are currently being cared for by Scottish SPCA staff
Baby otters Al and Ness are currently being cared for by Scottish SPCA staff

The Scottish SPCA has launched a new fundraising event encouraging members of the public to Go Wild for Wildlife and aid animals like baby otters Al and Ness.

Over lockdown, the charity has successfully rehabilitated more than 700 animals at their national wildlife rescue centre and released them back into the wild.

The centre at Fishcross was built in 2012 to care for approximately 5,000 animals a year, however, the number of animals requiring care has since doubled.

The involvement of the Scottish SPCA can be the difference between life or death for animals like Al and Ness, two baby otters named after the place they 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 September 8.

“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 (0.13 stone) and 870g (0.14 stone) 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.

The baby otters are named after the location they were discovered in

“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 into the wild next summer.”

The charity is urging fundraisers to back their Go Wild for Wildlife campaign to help care for more animals, with suggestions such as virtual bake-offs and head shaves.

Further information is available online at: scottishspca.org/GoWild

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