Olympic swim ace Rebecca Adlington in Doncaster on first public appearance after split from husband

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington met a group fellow water-dwellers as she opened a wildlife park's new exhibition of otters - while still wearing a ring on her wedding finger.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 1:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 1:42 pm
Rebecca Adlington at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. (Photo: Scott Merrylees).

Mum-of-one Adlington, 27, happily posed for selfies with children and fed the animals after she unveiled Yorkshire Wildlife Park's newest otter exhibition.

The Jump star also fed wild trout to the otters and high-fived the creatures in her first appearance since announcing the split from her husband.

Adlington and husband Harry Needs revealed recently that they had called time on their 18-month marriage.

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The Olympian, who sported a black parker coat with furry hood, red top and black leggings, cut the red ribbon on the new Giant Otter reserve which will be home to Mora, two, and Alexandra, three.

The pair both travelled from a German zoo to their new sprawling 2,835 sq m home at the park in Branton.

Giant Otters been devastated by poaching for their velvety pelt and habitat degradation in their native South America, and their numbers have been reduced to fewer than 5,000.

Adlington said in statement: "I would like to thank the YWP for asking me along to officially open the Giant Otter reserve today.

"It was great to see Mora and Alexandra close up and to get to feed them. I really hope the initiative helps save this wonderful species."

The double gold medallist said the separation from Needs, 24, was "on amicable terms" following the birth of their daughter in June last year.

At the weekend, national newspaers reported that Adlington, who won double gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, had shared 'late nights' with Superman star Dean Cain while filming The Jump as her marriage collapsed.

The 49-year-old actor, who starred in TV show The New Adventures Of Superman, was a fellow contestant alongside Adlington on the winter sports show filmed in Austria.