Otter being treated in Yorkshire after being found dumped in a bin on Christmas Eve

A young orphan otter cub was rescued by the RSPCA after being discovered freezing cold dumped inside a bin.

The animal charity was called after a member of the public discovered the creature suffering from hypothermia near Sunderland Road, in Durham.

The passer-by noticed the otter looking gravely ill so rushed it to be a vets to be treated on Christmas Eve.

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The vet alerted the RSPCA and Inspector Steph Baines took the animal to be treated at a wildlife establishment in North Yorkshire.The female cub - nicknamed Eve - is now being hand reared and will be released back into the wild once she has fully recovered.

The female otter cub - nicknamed Eve - is now being hand reared and will be released back into the wild once she has fully recovered

Steph said: “It appears that someone found the tiny otter cub and because she was so cold thought she was dead so discarded her in a bin. Then another member of the public later noticed some movement so rushed her to a nearby vets.

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“She was suffering from hypothermia due to the cold and had to be warmed up slowly and then she was given fluids and hand-reared with kitten milk mixed with fish every two hours and started to recover from her ordeal.

"We decided to name her Eve as she was found on Christmas Eve.”

After a couple of days Inspector Claire Little, based in North Yorkshire, transported Eve to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, near Nantwich, in Cheshire.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “It is always very exciting to have an otter cub with us as up until the 1980s they were struggling in the wild.

“They weren’t protected by legislation until 1978, at which point numbers were low, but over time their numbers have steadily increased and they have made a comeback in most counties in the UK.

"As a result we are seeing more being brought into Stapeley Grange. Otter rehabilitation is very specialised and you need to have suitable facilities to care for them.

"Young otter cubs can be with us for up to 12 months before they can be returned to the wild so their care is not only time consuming but expensive.

“The RSPCA is the only charity with teams out rescuing animals across England and Wales this winter.

"We have to be there for all kinds of animals who need help, including wildlife.

"We rely entirely on donations so we’re calling on animal lovers to Join the Rescue to help keep our teams doing whatever it takes to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife.”