Pongchart Chuahom, Director of the Khao Phra Thaew Natural and Wildlife Education Centre in Thalang, confirmed the mammal found as adult Asian small-clawed otter.
However, he said the gender of the otter had yet to be determined.
“The otter is now under the care at Anon Vet Clinic in Thalang.” Mr Pongchart said.
Mr Pongchart would not speculate on where the otter came from, but noted, “My observation is that the otter is familiar with humans.”
The otter will not be kept in Phuket, Mr Pongchart confirmed.
“I am worried that if this otter is released in Phuket, it will might seek out human contact, which might place it in danger,” he said.
“The otter is still receiving treatment at the vet clinic, and I am now coordinating with other officials on having the otter delivered to the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station for further care,” Mr Pongchart added.
Anon Swatesutthipan, of the Anon Vet Clinic, in Thalang, explained that the otter was weak when it was found by local residents.
Mr Pongchart handed the otter over to Mr Anon’s care on Sunday morning, he noted.
“The otter has a wound on its chin. Also the otter’s eyes were red, and it had mucus blocking its nostrils, which was causing it to have difficulty breathing,” Mr Anon said.
“I administered some first aid and gave it medicine. Now the otter is healthier. It is eating normally and looks stronger.
“This otter is mature, but I am not sure of its age or gender,” Mr Anon said.