River otter shot with pellet gun, discovered blind and struggling to breathe in Walnut Creek

The X-Ray of a river otter found with pellets on Jan. 21, 2018 in Walnut Creek. Photo: Lindsay Wildlife Experience.

Someone shot a river otter a while back and when it was discovered this weekend, disoriented, coughing and struggling to breathe, the animal care experts at Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek felt they had no choice but to euthanize it.

In a Facebook post, Lindsay Wildlife said the river otter was found at the Shadelands Business Park in Walnut Creek on Sunday in very bad shape.

Wildlife hospital staff discovered the otter was also missing teeth and was blind in one eye and “therefore would not be able to catch prey,” the center said on its Facebook page. X-rays showed there were multiple BB pellets in the otter’s neck and head.

“The most humane action for this otter was euthanasia, a decision that is always difficult,” the center wrote.

North American River Otters can live in lakes or rivers. And in Walnut Creek, otters have been spotted at Heather Farm Park and downtown at Civic Park, Linsday Wildlife spokeswoman Elisabeth Nardi told KTVU on Thursday. Some people reported seeing this particular otter around a neighborhood in a pond for years, she said. 

If anyone witnesses illegal activity regarding wildlife they should call CALTIP: 1.888.334.2258 - CDFW's hotline.