Page last updated at 08:09 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Skye group aids rare Congo otter

Congo clawless otter cub. Image: Chapman/IOSF
The Congo clawless otter cub has been named Mazu

A Skye-based animal charity has come to the aid of an abandoned rare otter being cared for by missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Congo clawless otter cub was found in the remote area of Kikonga and handed over to Rita and Glen Chapman.

The International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) in Broadford has sent out special powdered milk.

Grace Yoxon, of IOSF, said the milk would reach the Chapmans via an air supply drop.

The otter has been surviving on milk mixed with egg yolk.

Mrs Yoxon said: "Otters need special milk as they cannot take lactose so we had to send milk powder out for this little chap.

"The area is so remote that it is difficult for them even to get teats for the feeding bottles, so the milk is going to have to go on a supply drop flight once it reaches Kinshasa."

The Chapmans have called the cub Mazu, which Mrs Yoxon said was Congolese for noise.

According to the IUCN Otter Specialist Group, the species is hunted for bush meat and for the use in witchcraft in parts of Cameroon.

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