A WOMAN in Kilwinning was left rather confused by an unusual sighting earlier this week.

Sara McAllister was on Fergushill Road in the midst of her commute when she spotted an otter roaming the pavements on Tuesday, October 31.

While the mammals are semi-aquatic, meaning they live partly on land and partly in water, it is rather rare that an otter be spotted out on the streets - as if it were a pet cat - in broad daylight.

In fact, some people suggested that perhaps this was indeed a cat - just dressed up for Hallowe'en.

Though, of course, this was a real otter captured only a short distance from the River Garnock, where it most likely spends most of its time.

It is certainly a situation where many people may not be aware of exactly how to react - so we thought we would find out more from the Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre in Beith.

Andy Christie, one of the centre's founders, explained that though the sighting in daylight of a fully grown otter is rare, it is not improbable.

He commented: "If you see an otter anywhere that isn't the water - give us a call."

Andy added that the centre would then be able to advise the best course of action, which in most circumstances would be that no organisations need to get involved.

But he did have one warning for anyone who may think that they need to intervene themselves.

He said: "Nobody should try to pick up what appears to be a healthy adult otter - as it can give you a hell of a bite."