A YOUNG otter suffering from hypothermia was rescued from beside the beck in Helmsley on Saturday and taken to a specialist vet.

The juvenile animal was spotted by local photographer Alice White who was with her family in the market town when they noticed the ball of dark fur beside the water. She said: “My daughter thought it was a guinea pig, my son, a cat. I thought it was a giant rat. But moments later I saw it was a small otter, its nose pressed against the wall.

“I presumed it was dead and it was only on closer inspection that I saw his abdomen heave and realised he was still fighting.

“We rang the RSPCA and they came out and took the pup to a specialist vet. He had no obvious injuries but was very hypothermic.”

The male pup, which has been named Charlie, was taken into the care of Norton wildlife rescuer Jean Thorpe.