Christmas came early for a young otter in Culswick after snapping up some salmon and taking residence in a cosy cottage.
West Side resident Wilma Cluness was given a shock after discovering the wild animal under a bed in her home.
After hearing a clumping of footsteps on Friday morning she found the otter in a bedroom.
“This otter ran across my foot and I nearly died of fright,” said Wilma after she whipped up the bedspread.
“The second it came out from under the bed and ran across my foot I knew it was an otter.”
After wreaking havoc in the kitchen, running along the cooker, and knocking over a bowl from Rajasthan, the furry creature took up residence in the bathroom. Wilma contacted the Hillswick Widlife Sanctuary.
After having no luck with luring the otter out with cat food, she opted for some salmon, suggested by Pete Bevington at the sanctuary.
“Even though he was obviously agitated he also appeared incredibly drowsy. I tried him with cat food and Pete suggested salmon.”
And with Christmas coming up there was a sizeable piece of salmon at hand.
“He literally gobbled the whole thing up, with little bits on a fish slice,” Wilma said.
“Then he curled up in the corner and went to sleep. I couldn’t get him out at all and he wasn’t interested in moving.
“He wolfed it down and he was obviously starving. He was far more energetic after he’d eaten everything. By the time he’d eaten half a salmon he was overcome with tiredness. He was a little otter, a juvenile and he wasn’t bigger than 20 inches long.”
Wilma said her unexpected visitor became “sprightly” and gave a wry smile after some grub.
Hours later, and, after a bit of a nudge with a broom the unexpected visitor was on its way.
The animal seemed tame, she said, and could have been paying visits to her porch as it seemed accustomed to noise.
“It didn’t strike me as the antics of a truly terrified beast,” Wilma added.