Rescued otter 'jumps for joy' when it is released into the sea

‘Me after lockdown!’ Heartwarming moment rescued otter ‘jumps for joy’ when it is released into the sea

  • Grant the otter was filmed splashing around in Shetland after being released
  • He was rescued by Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary last August aged two months
  • Grant was taken in after being separated from his mother during a thunderstorm
  • Harry Potter author JK Rowling retweeted the video of Grant splashing around 

An otter has been filmed jumping for joy after it was released back into the wild by sanctuary workers.

Grant the otter had been living at the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary in Shetland since last August when he arrived aged two months after losing his mother during a thunderstorm.

Now, a video of Grant being released back into the wild has been viewed 500,000 times.

The video begins by showing Grant running around his enclosure at Hillswick and enjoy some fish.

Grant the otter (pictured) has been filmed jumping for joy after it was released back into the wild by sanctuary workers

The otter was taken in by Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary in Shetland last August aged two months after he was separated from his mother during a thunderstorm

The latter half of the clip shows sanctuary workers removing the door from a travel box.

Grant cautiously pokes his head out of the door before bounding off towards some water.

Incredibly when Grant reaches the water he is seen ‘jumping for joy’ as he bursts out of the surface of the water four times.

Pete Bevington has worked at the sanctuary in Northamvine for 25 years and he said he’s never seen an animal react like Grant during a release.

The Shetland Times reported that he said: ‘From the moment he hit the water, he started leaping in the air with excitement.

‘I think that’s what got people’s attention, especially right now with everyone stuck in lockdown.

‘So to see an otter take to the wild like Grant did, was just incredible.

‘Jan [Bevington] and I were both blown away when we saw him in the water, leaping around like a dolphin, it was really jaw dropping.

‘It gave us no doubt at all that he was fit and ready to be out in the wild.’

Grant’s playful and energetic character helped make an impression on the sanctuary workers when he first arrived.

However, the workers had to be careful not to develop too strong a bond with Grant so that he did not imprint on them which would have made the release much harder. 

The footage of Grant struck at the heartstrings of people on Twitter. One person joked that Grant represented what they will look like when the lockdown is lifted and another joked that the otter looked like a mini Loch Ness monster

Normally otters will spend a year growing with their mother, but the sanctuary workers have to bottle feed the young otters instead which makes breaking the bond difficult.

When otters begin feeding on fish they become more aggressive.

Pete said this is a good way to distance himself from the animals and weaken the bond.

He said: ‘The less they want to know you the better – a hostile, unfriendly otter is a really good sign.’

With help from Siân Bryant from Scottish SPCA, Pete was able to catch Grant to prepare him for release. 

Footage of Grant has been liked 24,000 times by people on Twitter and Harry Potter author JK Rowling retweeted the video.

One person joked that Grant jumping with joy looked like ‘me after lockdown’.

Another person suggested that the otter splashing around looked like a mini Loch Ness monster.

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