BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) released three orphaned North American river otters to the wild after being raised at their facility.
They found two of the river otters in February and one in March in dangerous conditions and took them in at a few weeks old. On Feb. 10, the first otter pup, a healthy young male, was admitted after being found on the side of the road in Labelle, Florida. Two days later, a young female otter was transferred to CROW after being initially admitted to Peace River Wildlife Center in Punta Gorda. The last otter, a young female was found alone in a drainage ditch and admitted to the Tampa Bay Raptor Center. She was transferred to CROW on March 10 to be raised with the other two already in care. CROW says the three otters quickly bonded. “North American river otters are very social creatures and otter pups typically remain with their mother throughout their first year of life,” CROW released in a statement. “Growing up with a sibling is vital to their learning and development of important survival skills needed for life in the wild.”
The otter's development of their hunting ability was aided by volunteer anglers who donated time to catch live fish.
“As the otters grew, we weaned them onto solid food and introduced them to the water,” Breanna Frankel, CROW’s rehabilitation manager said. “Eventually they were moved to our outside enclosures where they learned important skills like hunting.”