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Health status of otters (Lutra lutra) in south-west England based on postmortem findings
  1. V. R. Simpson, BVSc, DTVM, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Veterinary Investigation Unit, Polwhele, Truro TR4 9AD


Seventy-seven wild otters found dead in south-west England between 1988 and 1996 were examined postmortem. Road traffic accidents were responsible for 64 of the deaths and there were marked seasonal peaks. Bite wounds were present in 12 animals and five were considered to have died from their injuries. The animals' general nutritional state was good, but the males were in overall poorer condition than the females. There was little evidence of infectious disease and the results suggested a young, generally healthy population. Adrenal hypertrophy was observed in males dying of bite wounds and in lactating or pregnant females. Convoluted, modular uteri were observed in three females.

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