Page last updated at 00:42 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Otter tours Scotland in postbag

Rescued otter
Mr Wilson kept the otter safe and warm in his mailbag as they went on their tour of central Scotland

A postman who rescued a baby otter on a Scottish roadside took her on a 220-mile tour in his mailbag.

Kenny Wilson, 50, of Tweedbank, in the Borders, spotted the cub - named Orla - lying on the A7 near Stow on Sunday.

He stopped his car, popped her in his mailbag to keep her warm and then bought her kitten milk and fed her through the tube of a ballpoint pen.

He then took the otter with him on a Mini car enthusiasts' rally before taking it to an animal rescue centre.

The six-week-old otter was said to be doing well at the Arthurshiel centre near St Boswells in Roxburghshire.

I popped her into the mailbag I had in the car and carried on up the A7 and just kept hearing little squeaks and sucking noises to imply she was hungry
Kenny Wilson

Mr Wilson was travelling on the A7 road just north of Stow in the Borders in his 1999 Mini Cooper when he spotted Orla lying at the side of the road.

He explained: "She was frozen and I did not give her much of a chance to be honest.

"It looked as if she had either been abandoned or her mother had been hit by a car."

Mr Wilson said the otter had come from the nearby Gala Water and "looked terrified from the noise of the cars and would soon have been hit".

"I popped her into the mailbag I had in the car and carried on up the A7 and just kept hearing little squeaks and sucking noises to imply she was hungry," he said.

"I stopped at Tesco at Dalkeith and bought some kitten milk and fed it through the tube of a ballpoint pen.

"She seemed happy enough and during our journey she kept crawling up my neck looking for more warmth."

'Doing well'

Mr Wilson said everyone at the car rally was amazed when they saw the animal.

The pup was initially named Ozzie but when it was discovered it was female Mr Wilson's wife, Jayne, came up with Orla.

Otter cub
Orla the otter has settled in well at the rescue centre

The postman added: "Orla seemed to enjoy her 220-mile round trip round the Trossachs and when we got home we fed her some crushed chicken and put her in our cat Ebony's basket as she decided to go out for the night.

"Not many otters have been on a tour of central Scotland.

"The next day we contacted Arthurshiel and took her over there where she seems to be doing well."

Shona Middlemas of the rescue centre said the brown European otter was being fed and kept warm.

"We are hand-rearing her just now and she stayed last night in the warmth of our living room," she said.

"I have been taking advice from people on the best way to look after her.

"Kenny did a good job because it sounds as if she would not have survived."

However, she said the rescue had not come without expense.

"At the moment we are feeding her fish every two hours and she has got some appetite," she explained.

"She is going through about 15 worth of salmon each day."

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