TV presenter Terry Nutkins, famous for appearances on nature programmes including Animal Magic and The Really Wild Show, has died at the age of 66.

The naturalist helped out at London Zoo as a child and later helped author Gavin Maxwell care for otters on the west coast of Scotland before a TV career that included other programmes such as Brilliant Creatures and Growing Up Wild.

His agent John Miles said Mr Nutkins died at home in Scotland on Thursday, adding: "He had fought for about nine months or so with acute leukaemia."

The BBC confirmed the death of the naturalist, tweeting:


BBC Ents News Team
Sad news - TV presenter Terry Nutkins has died, after being treated in hospital for leukemia, his agent has confirmed to the BBC.

Nutkins' love for animals was undimmed in spite of losing two fingers at the age of 15 when he was bitten by an otter called Edal and in 2002 he showed there were no hard feelings when he opened a new otter enclosure at the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary.

Recalling the incident, Nutkins said: "It was a very long time ago and I don't recall every detail.

"I just remember Edal going beserk and latching onto a finger. All I could think to do was get her to the door, throw her outside and slam the door shut quickly.

"Unfortunately, by the time I reached the door she had chewed right through the finger, and as I launched her she twisted in the air and managed to nip most of another finger off the other hand."

Presenter Phillip Schofield, who worked with Nutkins, gave his reaction to the news on Twitter, along with other TV personalities:


Phillip Schofield
So sad to hear of the death of Terry Nutkins. I worked with him often in my 'broom cupboard' days. A delightful man & passionate naturalist


Simon King
So sad to Learn that Terry Nutkins has passed away. Sincere condolences to all his loved ones. He was a true enthusiast and fine naturalist


Ricky Gervais
RIP Terry Nutkins. Animal lover and thoroughly nice chap.

Nutkins grew up near Marylebone station and bunked off school to help out at London Zoo, where his expertise with animals became obvious.

He was sent to Scotland at the age of 11 to work with Ring Of Bright Water author Gavin Maxwell and help care for wild otters and it was there where he lost his digits to Edal's teeth.

Maxwell eventually became his legal guardian and Nutkins made the west coast of Scotland his home, settling in Glenelg, near the Isle of Skye.

Mr Miles added: "He was an absolutely lovely guy and just loved animals, and he was never happier than when he was with animals. We will all miss him very, very much."

He is survived by his wife, eight children and eight grandchildren.

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  • Chris Rogers - Book Launch Party Arrivals

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 23: Terry Nutkins attends a book launch for Chris Rogers' 'Undercover' at the Mayfair Hotel on March 23, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

  • "Hell's Kitchen II" - Day 11 - Arrivals

    Terry Nutkins during 'Hell's Kitchen II' - Day 11 - Arrivals at Truman Brewery in London, Great Britain. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

  • "Hell's Kitchen II" - Day 11 - Arrivals

    Terry Nutkins during 'Hell's Kitchen II' - Day 11 - Arrivals at Truman Brewery in London, Great Britain. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

  • Chris Rogers book launch - London

    Terry Nutkins attends book launch for Undercover, at the May Fair hotel in central London.

  • RHS Flower Show - Tatton Park

    Wildlife TV personality Terry Nutkins with a bronze sculpture of himself, made by Nick Robertson, at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire.

  • RHS Flower Show - Tatton Park

    Wildlife TV personality Terry Nutkins with a bronze sculpture of himself, made by Nick Robertson, at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire.