Sheltering animal goes where it’s ‘otter

Elaine Hearnshaw

Elaine Hearnshaw

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A Beverley garden centre welcomed an unusual visitor during last week’s stormy weather as a wild otter made itself at home in the pet section.

Staff at Cherry Lane Garden Centre, were startled to find the otter puppy, last week, which spent the night in the shop as the gales blew outside.

Elaine Hearnshaw, supervisor at the Cherry Lane Garden Centre, said: “I was just locking up for the night and all the lights were off when I felt something run across my foot.

“I went to get a torch to find out what it was and saw that it had gone underneath some shelves. I thought it was a cat actually and I tried to pull it out, though I’ve since learnt otters can be quite vicious so I shouldn’t have done that.

“I couldn’t get him out, I tried tempting him with food and water but he wouldn’t budge. The next morning we went to have a look and he was there curled up behind the boiler, he must have thought he was at the Ritz! I think he went to the animal section because he smelled food.

“He was a bit lethargic and the RSPCA officers came the next day they said he had obsesses in his mouth and wasn’t in a good way. He was only a puppy and only about a quarter of the size he will grow to.

“We didn’t really name him but I certainly had a few names for him when he ran over my foot in the dark.”

Elaine said RSPCA officers had named the otter Ollie. Ollie, who is thought may have been shunned by a larger group, is being treated by vets and will soon be taken to Scotland and introduced to a partner before the pair will hopefully be brought back and released into the area.

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