Notes from St Tiggywinkles: The orphans of the storms

These fuzzy and cute otters were orphaned by the recent storms and are being cared for at Tiggys

These fuzzy and cute otters were orphaned by the recent storms and are being cared for at Tiggys

  • by Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham

Every now and then an animal, that sets everybody billing and cooing, arrives at Tiggys. This month it happened again.

Brought into the hospital were two motherless orphans that seemed to have been flooded out by the storms.

Perhaps their home, a holt, had been carried away leaving them struggling for existence on the hostile roads of Berkshire.

Just like teddy bears a hundred times over Gail and Cloud, as they were instantly named, were baby otters arriving together in a tight furry ball wondering what was occurring.

Checking them over they seemed in good condition so while our nurses settled them in Sue and I tore off to Aylesbury, to Waitrose and Tesco, to buy rainbow trout that we then cut into strips to feed our little charges.

Gail quickly learnt to take her fish strips from a pair of tongs, even young otters have teeth and at about five weeks old these were well armed.

Cloud was reluctant to take her strips of trout often using her array of tiny teeth to demonstrate her obstinacy.

However she did succumb to a ‘fish smoothie’ (sounds heavenly doesn’t it?).

Over that first night they cuddled up in ICU only giving the occasional high pitched “peep peep” calling their long lost mother.

Its heartbreaking when this happens but we knew that after a few days they would totally settle with our nurses as their surrogate mothers.

Sounds simple but even with loads of TLC they still had to be kept wild so they could be fit for release.

Cloud still refused her solid food but soon settled to regular bottle feeding on substitute milk from America.They really are the cutest. I will keep The Herald posted on their progress.




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