Animal Rescue at John’s an Otter Success

Heartwarming scenes of heroism as St John’s College staff rescue a baby otter

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Monday afternoon saw John’s lose some of their reputation for being stuck up prats. College housekeeping staff Richard Pauley, Daniel Molden, and Belinda Peat helped rescue a baby otter that was trapped in a hole in the wall by the Bridge of Sighs.

Not something you see otter time!

Not something you see otter time!

Separated from its family due to the swollen waters of the River Cam, the otter was heard “squawking” for help. Speaking to Cambridge News, Molden said: “All we could see at first was a little head.

“The hole was so dark that we couldn’t tell what it was, in fact, we thought it might be a moorhen because we have no idea what an otter sounds like.

“I wanted to swim across and get it, but the water was freezing cold.”

The staff called the RSPCA for advice, however, moments later, the baby emerged and attempted to swim to the otter side of the river. As it was swept away by the fast moving current, it managed to cling onto part of the Bridge of Sighs.

You’d sigh too if you were clinging onto the Bridge.

Pauley, Peat, and Molden persuaded a family of tourists on a punt tour to retrieve the youngster and bring it to the riverbank, where they wrapped it in a towel. The baby otter, estimated to be a mere eight months old, then fell asleep, perhaps exhausted by its ordeal.

Rescuer Richard Pauley said: “It was hanging on for dear life.

“There’s no way it would have been able to survive if it had fallen in because it could barely keep its head above the water.”

The college staff took the otter to the Cambridgeshire Wildlife Care sanctuary at Haddenham where it is being looked after and said to be doing well. The youngster will be transferred to another centre with other otter cubs to receive specialist care, and it is hoped that it will eventually be returned to the wild.