Whilst driving from my dad's house this morning to a site meeting in Northampton l took the back roads for a change.
One of the reasons for this is that we have a permission (40acre ancient wood) which is visible from the road and lf i was lucky i might see a deer or two! Got going and about half way there (near Whittlebury - at the back of Silverstone) i turned the corner of a tight right-hander straightened up to take the next very tight left-hander and saw an animal run out of the brook area on the left hand side (my side) cross the road 100yards ahead and get clonk'd by the on-coming car killing the animal instantly.
So i slowed down as i was unsure of what it was that had been hit (thinking it was a cat) low and behold it was an Otter!
So i pulled over on the L/H side around the bend (was in the Landy so parked it well up on the verge) walked back around quick and picked it up by the tail and put it in the back of the car. Noting that it's only damage was the fact it'd obviously cowered at the last minute and the car had run over its nose - squashing its brain i suppose and killing it instantly.
Immediately rang my dad who said to ring the Wildlife agency. So i put the internet on my phone and found the number and gave them a call. The polite lady took my detail and said she'd have someone ring me back asap.
An hour later (when i finished my meeting in Northampton) i got a call back from the same woman telling me that my detail were being passed onto the Environmental Agency. Ten minutes later i received a call from the EA - a guy who again took the detail of the location in which the animal was found and told me that someone from the Aylesbury Vale Bio-Diversity group would call to liaise a collection! After explaining that i was a shooting person and had a chiller - they asked me to store in the chiller until a decision was made as to its final destination!
An hour and a half late the Otter is in the rubber bucket in the bottom of the chiller and i get a call from the Aylesbury Vale Bio-Diversity group, which incidentally is based only half a mile from me in Aylesbury. The guy arranged to meet me at mine at 1pm to take detail and explain what was going to happen.
I waited in till quarter past one and had to go but the missus was going to be in soon after so i left. The agent turned up eventually at quarter to two, caught my missus in and was let into the garage to see the Otter.
I got a call from him ten minutes later, he told me that it was a large lady-Otter! that he'd took pictures, weighed it and was arranging for a Bio-crated to be sent to ours tomorrow so that the Otter could be taken to the Cardiff lab where it will be subjected to an autopsy, and loads of other tests - he'd also put it into our pigeon freezer so it wouldn't decompose.
So today i feel like Iíve done my good deed for wildlife! A few people have been to see it tonight as they've never seen one in the flesh before, and a couple of shooting friends have been to touch it as the fur is like silk and again to see their first fully grown girly Otter!
I can honestly say its a beautiful animal, and such a shame. The Environmental Agency are especially interested they say - as it was no where near a major water course (just a farm pond and small stream on either side of the road) and was found approx 40 miles from the nearest release site.