A CONSERVATIONIST and environmental campaigner said that he was saddened by the discovery of a dead otter in the middle of a busy road in Chester.

The body of the three-foot-long animal, which is confirmed to have been a female, was found on Parkgate Road yesterday morning (Wednesday, February 7), the apparent victim of a passing car.

It was spotted by biological scientist and conservationist, Andy Scargill, who went out into the road in hi-vis to move the otter, after hearing from a fellow Parkgate Road Residents’ Association member.

Andy said: “I’m sad that after many years of trying to see an otter in the wild that I find one on my own doorstep, lying in the middle of the road.”

Chester and District Standard: The animal was found with a bloody nose, but didn't appear to have been run over.The animal was found with a bloody nose, but didn't appear to have been run over. (Image: Andy Scargill)

Mr Scargill added that the body was “largely intact” aside from a bloody nose and may have been hit by a vehicle, but not run over.

“We have a problem on this section of Parkgate Road with speeding traffic and we’re working with local councillors to get speed cameras installed.

“We know that there’s quite a lot of roadkill, I’ve personally picked up and removed three foxes. My guess would be that it was traffic, but it doesn’t appear to have driven directly over it.”

Andy added that he had travelled all over Scotland in the hope of seeing an otter and that he hoped the next time will be under “more pleasant circumstances.”

The otter was later collected by an environmental health team, who will pass the body on so that data about the animal can be recorded.

Otters are fully protected in the UK under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This means that it is illegal to intentionally kill, injure, or take, possess, or trade them.

Interference with places they use for shelter or protection, or intentionally disturbing the animals occupying such places, is also prohibited.

There are estimated to be around 11,000 of the animals in Great Britain.