Joy and sadness at Skye’s otter sanctuary

Mel takes to his new surroundings following his release
Mel takes to his new surroundings following his release

It has been described as a week of mixed emotions for conservationists at the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) headquarters in Skye after one otter was released into the wild but another was found dead.

Conservationists were able to release one lively otter back into the wild towards the end of last week, with Mel taking to his natural habitat after spending a taking a bit of time to explore his new surroundings.

A spokesman for IOSF said: “Following the release of Aeris and Beatha last week it was time to say our farewells to Mel.

“As always, it is great to see all of our hard work pay off and get an otter back to the wild and back where it belongs.

“Mel took the time to enjoy all his new smells and surroundings as he explored the loch-side of his new home, before escaping into shrubbery for some shade – a true trait of his!”

Sadly though, conservationists discovered a week ago on Sunday that new addition to the otter hospital Storm had died suddenly at the Broadford base.

The spokesman added: “On the other side of all the happiness was the devastating news that our latest little otter Storm didn’t make it.

“After showing such early promise it was a heart-breaking shock to discover that he had died on Sunday morning. Cardiff University has carried out a post-mortem and can’t find any cause of death – which makes it that little bit harder.

“Unfortunately that is the nature of the rehab centre and we can’t save them all but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier when one of them passes away.”