Dead otters a sign of growing numbers

Dead otters found on Chain Lane and Mythop Road. Picture by Simon Fretwell
Dead otters found on Chain Lane and Mythop Road. Picture by Simon Fretwell
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Two dead otters have been found in Staining and Marton roads.

The once-endangered mammals, which are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild and are more likely to be seen in zoos and sea life centres, were seen by passers-by on Chain Lane, Staining, and Mythop Road, Marton, on Wednesday.

Simon Fretwell, 36, was on his way to work when he spotted the otters from his car at around 8.30am.

He said: “They were less than a quarter of a mile apart. I saw one and I thought it must have been a cat, band then just a little while later I noticed another one.

“I pulled over and moved it to the side of the road so it wouldn’t get even more flattened.

“It’s unusual to see two of them at the side of the road. I thought they were really rare.

“There has been some people saying that they must have been dumped there, but to me it looked like they had been hit by a car.”

Tim Mitcham, head of conservation at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “Significant numbers of otters are killed on the roads in Lancashire every year. Sometimes where streams go under a road, otters are forced to cross it. They would normally do this early in the morning or at night when the roads are quieter.

“Otter populations are still building up in the county, due to the improvement in water quality in many watercourses and much reduced persecution. So the recent incidents on roads are not impacting hugely on the whole population, but clearly can be negative on local population numbers.”