SANIBEL, Fla (September 27, 2017) – Three North American river otter were released Wednesday, September 27, in Punta Gorda, Florida after nearly eight months in care at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW).
The three otters arrived at the clinic in February and early March from across the state. One was transferred from a rehabilitation facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, while the other two were transferred from rehabilitation facilities near Tampa.
“River otters are a very social species and rely on their family group to learn skills needed for survival” says Dr. Heather Barron, CROW’s Hospital Director. “Often times, when a rehab center gets in one otter, other centers will send otters to them so they can be raised together.”
The otters spent nearly eight months in care at the Sanibel clinic, roughly the amount of time they would spend with a parent learning how to hunt for fish and other prey on their own. Without the parents to teach these skills, it was up to the dedicated staff of rehabilitators at CROW to ensure they learned. Enrichment items and live prey were provided regularly to help the otters develop their skills.