A concerned citizen in Newport, Shropshire in England called police last week to report an injured otter on the side of the road. The poor creature couldn't even move.
The Police Safer Neighborhood Team for the area showed up to investigate and aid the distressed critter. What they found was actually a fake fur collar from a coat.
Lee Thomas of the West Mercia Police told BBC Radio the "otter" was "not saying or doing an awful lot, which is unusual for an injured animal." He goes on to describe it as quite furry and brown.
Most police organizations would just pick up the collar and dispose of it. Not these cops. They named the fake otter "Ollie" and proceeded to share its life on Twitter, posting photos of it curled up on a car seat and using a laptop.
Before you laugh too hard at someone mistaking a collar for an otter, it's good to know that otters have made quite a comeback in the UK. Preservation organization The Wildlife Trusts notes that otters have been "establishing themselves in busy urban centres, often becoming used to people and active in broad daylight."
Ollie the Otter's adventures became a vehicle for some Twitter public-service announcements on how to handle real distressed otters. "#OllieTheFauxOtter would like to remind everyone, if you do find an injured otter, don't approach it but call police, RSCPA or local vet," the Newport cops tweeted.
The worried citizen first reported the otter on February 18. There's no word on whether Ollie will remain at the police station or if he will be adopted by a new coat.
Report of an injured otter at the roadside turned out to be the fake fur collar from a coat pic.twitter.com/fQxkAr4fJa— Newport (Shrop) SNTs (@NewportCops) February 18, 2016