What an otter beauty!

'Dee' recovering after being found frightened and alone at old railway station in Nobber

An adorable baby otter who was found frightened and alone at the old railway station in Nobber - is capturing the hearts of all who see her.

However, without the kind efforts of her rescuer, Karen Ward, and wildlife expert, Sophie Hayley of Kells, she might not be here today, but two weeks after her rescue is growing strong and gaining weight.

Dee, as she was named because she most likely came from a holt on the North Meath river of the same name, may well be winning the hearts of anyone she has encountered, but Sophie, a volunteer with the Kildare Wildlife Foundation says she has to ensure that Dee doesn't become tame or else she cannot be rehabilitated to the wild.

"It is very hard though, she's beautiful," she admits.

Karen Ward was out walking on Sli na hOibre loop walk when her dog came across Dee near the old railway station.

"I knew she was very young. She was a long distance from any water and I checked but there was no sign of her mother.

"There were too many humans and dogs around, so I picked her up and carried her home and searched online for someone who would know what to do."

Karen made contact with Kildare Wildlife Foundation with the result that Sophie, one of their volunteers who lives in Kells, took Dee in.

Sophie explains that she tried Dee with a bottle at first but she wouldn't take it. "Although otters are dependent on their mothers for the first year, they are weaned at about two months old and she is around that age.

"We gave her fluids and she seemed to be sore, so we gave her painkillers and then she started eating. She is now eating to 15 to 20 per cent of her body weight each day in fish in a lot of small meals.

"She has a heat pad with her in the crate because they would normally sleep curled up with their mothers."

Dee will eventually be transferred to a large enclosure with water, along with another otter cub that is currently being fostered by a volunteer from the foundation.

"They will be rehabilitated and when they are a year old they will be released into the wild," said Dan Donaher of the Kildare Animal Foundation.

"Hopefully, she will be released in a suitable habitat in Meath."

The Kildare Wildlife Foundation is based outside Kildarertown and caters for sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.

Cllr Eugene Cassidy said the Dee river at Nobber and the Sli na hOibre walk are havens for wildlife and said that people have been particular impressed by Kingfishers along the river.