An otter has been rescued after being found dying on a riverbank.

A jogger noticed the near-lifeless animal near the Essex coast on Sunday.

South Essex Wildlife Hospital said the otter “vomited a chewed rubber fish lure” on its way to the vets and collapsed.

Vets said they were initially concerned he would not recover but after treatment he was now “a lot better” and eating.

Staff described the otter as “so lucky” that the runner – who is a supporter of the charity – came to its rescue as “the poor animal would certainly have perished”.

The otter had “completely collapsed” by the time it arrived at the hospital and was “not at all responsive”.

Vet Tom Linsel carried out X-rays and scans that showed air in the animal’s intestines.

Staff wrote on Facebook: “We are convinced we will lose him but are not ready to give up yet.”

However, the hospital said after two hours on a drip the otter pulled out the catheter and became more active.

Kate Theobald, a nurse at the hospital, said the discarded lure which the otter had eaten would have “seemed like an easy meal”.