OLLIE the otter is feeling a little hotter after Morpeth vets brought him back from the brink when he got hypothermia.
The poorly pup was found in a sorry state on the banks of a river in Consett last week when temperatures dipped below freezing.
The dog walker who saw him realised something was wrong when he didn’t try to run away so took him home and put him in a bath.
But the kind-hearted action only landed the creature in more trouble as the night-time soak left him with hypothermia, as well as dehydration.
The RSPCA was called in to help save him and immediately took the otter to Robson and Prescott’s Morpeth Veterinary Centre in Staithes Lane due to its expertise with small animals.
And in no time at all, he was revived and munching on a tasty snack of salmon from the nearby Morrisons supermarket.
Robson and Prescott Director and Senior Vet Chris Green said: “Ollie had apparently been found by a walker, looking very sorry for himself.
“Otters usually scarper when they’re approached, but he didn’t so they realised there was something wrong. They thought they were doing him a favour by keeping him in a bath of water overnight, but it wasn’t ideal as he got hypothermia because he couldn’t get out of the water.
“The first thing to do was warm him up and get some fluids and electrolytes into him.
“Once all that was done, he was fine.
“By the time he left, he was bright and well and able to fend for himself.
“Otters have a reputation for being a bit snappy, but he was very well-behaved.
“He was very cute and allowed us to hand-feed him as we went to get him some fish from the local Morrisons.”
The practice is used to dealing with wildlife and exotic animals, with clients including snakes, monkeys and reptiles, but Ollie’s appearance was a first for the centre.
“Ollie was brought here initially because of our well-known expertise and experience in the treatment of small mammals and exotic pets of all kinds.
“Even with the broad range of animals we see, this is the first time we’ve had an otter in so we were quite intrigued by him,” said Mr Green.
“It is important to stress that in the event of a wildlife emergency of any kind, people should always phone the RSPCA in the first instance.”
Ollie, who was named by the veterinary staff who cared for him, was initially treated by vet Karmen Watson.
He has now been taken to a sanctuary at a secret location and will eventually be released back into the wild.