A DEAD otter that appeared close to the Small Boats Marina in Gibraltar is believed to have been killed by a passing vehicle.
A vet who conducted a postmortem on the European Otter close to the sea found that it had a fractured leg and internal bleeding.
Otters are normally found in the nearby rivers of Palmones, Guadarranque and Guadiaro, but in recent years have been spotted in Gibraltar’s Mid-Harbour area.
The dead animal was in good health apart from the injuries, the local vet confirmed.
Environmental officers said this otter was less than a year old and could have even been making use of the freshwater pools at Commonwealth Park.
The government department has been monitoring otter sightings for some time in Gibraltar.
Reports of the normally freshwater animal appearing at the nearby Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club and even possibly at Sandy Bay have created interest in the otter’s visits.
Minister John Cortes said the otter death was ‘very sad’ and asked drivers to ‘please be vigilant of wildlife’ in a government statement.
“Otters in our port were unheard of just a few years ago,” Cortes added.
“We have seen a great increase in the diversity of wildlife living in Gibraltar Port in recent years, including ospreys, Grey Herons and Little Egrets, which can only be a good sign as to the state of our waters.”
The department of the environment is investigating the animal’s death and asked anyone who saw the otter being run over to come forward.
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