Otter pup rescued from Tesco van’s engine compartment

Otter pup rescued from Tesco van’s engine compartment
Two otter pups, thought to be brother and sister, have been reunited after separate rescues (South Essex Wildlife Hospital/PA)

An otter pup has been rescued from inside the engine compartment of a delivery van and reunited with her brother.

The young female was seen being attacked by birds at the Tesco Extra store in Copdock, near Ipswich, on October 11, the RSPCA said.

Seeking refuge, she ran to hide under the van and ended up in its engine compartment.

It took an RSPCA inspector around an hour to lure her out using food on a stick and a grabber to pull her to safety.

Another RSPCA worker rescued a male otter pup the previous day, around half a mile away, and it is thought they are siblings.

The two rescued otter pups, thought to be brother and sister, have been reunited. (South Essex Wildlife Hospital/ PA)The two rescued otter pups, believed to be brother and sister, are being looked after at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital (South Essex Wildlife Hospital/PA)

The male pup was seen on a pavement before running into a plant hire company in Scrivener Drive, where staff caught him in a box and called the animal rescue charity.

Both pups, believed to be around three to four months old, are being cared for at South Essex Wildlife Hospital in Orsett, where they will stay for a number of months before they are returned to the wild.

RSPCA Inspector Caroline Richardson, who carried out the Tesco rescue, said: “When I got the call I must admit I expected to find a ferret or a rat stuck in the engine – but, when I reached in to get a better look, there was the cutest little face staring back at me.

“The otter was not coming out of her own accord and the staff had been trying to lure her out with some food on a stick. As this seemed to work, I carried on with the approach and then, when the moment was right, I was able to use my rescue equipment to grab her and pull her out.

“Despite her ordeal she was not injured – and she was quite curious – and it soon became apparent she was just a baby.”

The female pup was rescued from inside the engine compartment of a Tesco delivery van. (RSPCA/ PA)The female pup was rescued from inside the engine compartment of a Tesco delivery van (RSPCA/PA)

Ms Richardson said she knew her colleague had been in the area the day before to collect another otter pup from the plant hire business.

She said the animals were too young to be out of their den and she believes “unfortunately something must have happened to mum or the den was disturbed”.

Jen Richardson, the officer who collected the pup from the plant hire business, and who is not related to Caroline, said: “Although it’s very sad to think these pups lost their mum, it is heart-warming to know they have been reunited.

“We again just want to thank everyone who has helped in the rescue of the otters.

“Now they are in the care of a wildlife hospital, they stand the best chance of being rehabilitated and then returned back to the wild where they belong.”

An RSPCA inspector used food on a stick to lure the baby otter pup from the engine compartment. (RSPCA/ PA)The otter pup was lured out of the engine compartment with food on a stick (RSPCA/PA)

Otter cubs can stay in care for up to 12 months and are released at an age and size when they would naturally move off to find their own territory and way in life.

Sue Schwar, manager of South Essex Wildlife Hospital, said: it was “just wonderful to reunite” the two pups.

She said they are “very skinny” but are on a diet of trout and “eating well”.

“We expect they will get through an awful lot while they are here,” she added.

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