What to do if you find a live otter or cub

If you have found an otter, it is time-critical to get the animal to the best possible place for care. The first few hours can make the difference of life or death to these vulnerable mammals. Please call the contact below – advice will then be given over the phone after asking a few basic questions about the specific animal and scenario. We will then make arrangements for the animal to be collected from you, as they require very specialist care and do not make good pets. All of our orphaned cubs are released, fully fit, back into the wild after a year-long rehabilitation program. By contacting us and following our advice you will have played a vital role in this process for which we will be ever-grateful!

After finding an otter, please also follow the simple advice below until you have spoken to us:

– Do not give the otter normal milk – otters are lactose intolerant and it may choke them.

– Do not handle the otter – apart from placing it in a box with a blanket/towel for them to lay on and hide in.

– Keep all pets, dogs, and other animals away from the otter.

– Keep the otter in a very dark and quiet area where it won’t be disturbed.

– Do not put the otter near a radiator or anywhere it will get too hot; or, conversely, anywhere it will get too cold. Bear in mind that the blanket or towel placed in its box will be used by the animal to warm up.

Call us ASAP for help! By doing this, you will be helping us to secure the future of a species that is known to be vulnerable in the wild.

Dave Webb

01769 540560
If no answer, please leave a message and call the mobile number below (where someone will always answer)

07866 462820

Colin Seddon

07759 809667

David Field

01364 642916

07540 726293

Jason Palmer

02380 292408

07876 247916
9am to 4pm only

Other useful contacts

For England the contacts are:

The UK Wild Otter Trust, North Devon
01769 540560 or 07866 462820
contact is Dave Webb

The New Forest Wildlife Park

02380 292408
contact is Jason Palmer

The Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary, Cornwall & Devon
01364 642916

The Ryedale Wildlife Rescue, North Yorkshire
01653 695124
contact is Jean Thorpe

The River Waveney Trust, Norfolk & Suffolk
01986 893470
contact is Geoff Doggett

The Chestnut Centre, Derbyshire
01298 814099

Battersea Park Childrens Zoo, London
0207 9245826

For Scotland the contacts are:

The International Otter Survival Fund
01471 822487
contact is Paul or Grace Yoxon

The Mull Otter Group
07710 408814 or 07900 918857
contact is Jane Stevens or Nigel Burch

// thanks to MOG for the use of the image used on this page!

What to do if you find a dead otter

Should you be unfortunate enough to find a dead otter in England, Scotland or Wales, it is crucial that it is collected and sent to the Otter Project at Cardiff University for postmortem examination, as this provides us with valuable insight into the species’ health and biology.  Postmortems are not currently performed on otters found dead in Northern Ireland on a routine basis, but all sightings can be reported to the NI National Biological Recording Centre, known as CEDaR. Please also report any wildlife casualties across the UK to Project Splatter, and any otter sightings, dead or alive, to your local otter group, as they may be monitoring the population in your area.

If you find a dead otter, no matter its condition, please call the Environment Agency in your area in the first instance, so they can quickly arrange to collect and transport the body: the relevant numbers are listed below. If possible, provide the grid reference of location found by using this link: (please don’t worry if you’re unable to do this – just let us know and we will help you), the date and time found, and your name, address and contact details.


Call the Environment Agency

03708 506506


Call Natural Resources Wales

0800 807060


Call the International Otter Survival Fund

01471 822487

Contact us

We’re able to advise on any otters that you find – alive, dead, injured, or abandoned.

Please call us on 01769 540560 or 07866 462820 or email to seek help and advice on the next steps. We can also collect and store otter casualties safely, should you not be able to do so, before arranging for onward transportation to Cardiff.