As one otter leaves, Skye rescuers say hello to new arrival

The latest arrival at the International Otter Survival Fund's base on Skye. NO F47 new otter

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

The Skye-based International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) has overseen the release back to the wild of one of its most recent rescues.

Sparky the otter had been rescued as a cub near Mallaig. Last week, ready to be released, IOSF staff transported him back to the rocky Lochaber coastline near Mallaig where he had been found.

‘By far, our favourite part of the rehabilitation work is releasing the otters back to the wild to where they belong. This time, it was the turn of the charismatic Sparky, to return to his natural habitat,’ said IOSF in a statement.

‘It was a beautiful day for Sparky’s release. Despite it being the start of November, we were greeted with a warm, sunny day as we sailed over to Mallaig.

‘Following the sail, we drove to his new home with beautiful rocky coastlines and sheltered bays – the perfect place for Sparky.

‘He was a bit reluctant coming out of his box but eventually he came out to explore – over the seaweed, in amongst the rocks and finally into the water. We watched for a while then left him in peace to his new life.’

Just as the IOSF team thought it was now down to three otters at the sanctuary, another call came in.

‘In the evening, we had a call about a little cub screaming near Broadford. We know the area well and it is quite a way from the sea, so how it came to be there we don’t know, but the poor cub was clearly in distress,’ said the team.

‘Ben went up and waited a while to see if mum would appear but as it was cold and dark he decided it was best to bring it back. The cub was a bit lethargic and cold but after some liquids, rest and a warm night it was more active in the morning.

‘It only has tiny teeth so it is on milk which it is taking fairly well. It is clearly early days for this little one but we will keep you informed. So just as Sparky leaves us, a new otter enters our life.’


The latest arrival at the International Otter Survival Fund’s base on Skye.

NO F47 new otter