Dead otters were struck by cars

ONE of the most threatened mammals, the otter, has suffered a setback as it slowly re-colonises Suffolk, with the discovery of two dead otters since September.

ONE of the most threatened mammals, the otter, has suffered a setback as it slowly re-colonises Suffolk, with the discovery of two dead otters since September.

Both otters were found dead close to Snape Bridge after being struck by cars whilst crossing the busy B1069.

Matt Williams, RSPB Assistant Warden at Snape, found the otters, which were collected for post-mortem analysis by the Environment Agency.

The first was confirmed as a sub-adult female, while results are still awaited on the second victim, found on 15 January.

Commenting on the grim discoveries, Matt Williams said, “We had some great views of otters from the RSPB Information Centre at Snape Maltings last year, and they always prove popular with visitors, so it's really distressing to find not one but two dead otters. I urge drivers to take care when crossing Snape Bridge, especially at night, as it's difficult to spot these sleek dark mammals.”

RSPB Suffolk Coast Area Manager, Rob Macklin, added, “Otters are set to benefit from our exciting reedbed creation project, in partnership with the Environment Agency, at Abbey Farm, so it's especially disappointing to lose two in such a short space of time. They usually use a culvert beneath the road to cross safely, but these two must have chosen to cross the road itself, with tragic consequences. We hope this second death is the last such accident.”

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As well as Snape, visitors have regularly seen otters from the Island Mere Hide at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, near Westleton, during the winter.