Search for otter pups goes on

A DESPERATE search will be resumed today for otter pups which face starvation as a result of the death of their mother.The adult was found dead on the Brandeston to Cretingham road about 7 am on Friday.

By David Green

A DESPERATE search will be resumed today for otter pups which face starvation as a result of the death of their mother.

The adult was found dead on the Brandeston to Cretingham road about 7 am on Friday.

A laboratory post-mortem was carried out on Saturday but it was not until yesterday morning that the Suffolk Wildlife Trust was informed that the examination had found that the female had given birth to two pups within the past four weeks and was still lactating.


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Penny Hemphill, the trust's Water for Wildlife project officer, and Chris Strachan of the Environment Agency searched the River Deben yesterday in a vain hunt to find the pups which would be unable to fend for themselves.

They combed the river bank three quarters of a mile downstream and half a mile upstream of the accident site trying to find the otter's holt - the den where it gave birth to the pups.

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The search will be resumed today but Ms Hemphill said last night she feared the pups would already be dead.

“They would still have been confined to the holt and would have kept each other warm but the chances are they will have already starved to death,” she said.

Ms Hemphill said the otter had been forced to cross the road because the River Deben had burst its banks after the recent heavy rain.

“The river flows under the road at this point, but as the water had risen right up to the bridge the only way the otter could get to the other side was by attempting to cross the road and unfortunately it was run over,” she said.

Another otter road casualty was yesterday reported to have been found at Saxmundham.

Otters, which declined sharply in the 1970s and 80s, are now doing well in Suffolk and are continuing to spread following the implementation of a conservation reintroduction programme spearheaded by Philip Wayre, director of the Otter Trust, based at Earsham, near Bungay.

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