An orphaned river otter pup has found a new home at the Oregon Zoo.
On June 20 the young otter was found by a highway and brought to the attention of a local wildlife rehabilitator. At just two months old it was rescued by the Chintimini Wildlife Centre in Corvallis. It was dehydrated, hungry and alone but they brought it back to health.
Unfortunately it would never be able to return to the wild so the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife began to work on a final place for it to spend its life.
Last Thursday it took up residence at the zoo where vets and keepers are taking care of their newest arrival. Currently the young otter weighs about 4lb (1.8kg).
“He’s a spunky little otter,” explained Julie Christie, senior keeper for the zoo’s North America section. “ODFW acted quickly when the lone pup was reported and Chintimini Wildlife Centre did a terrific job nursing him back to health. He is very active in his current home. He is playing in his pool, eating voraciously and grooming himself — all behaviours we want to see right now.”
For now the otter is off exhibit but is expected that later in the summer he will be on exhibit with the zoo’s two adult otters in the Cascade Stream and Pond Habitat.
The zoo’s two adult otters are both rescues and known as Tilly and B.C. Tilly was rescued during 2009 at four months old after she was wounded due to an animal attack. B.C. (Short for buttercup) was rescued near Star City in 2009 and was transferred to the zoo as a companion for Tilly.
Tilly and B.C. made a great pair and have gone on to produce two pups Molalla and ZigZag who have since moved to Seattle. Mo lives at the Seattle Aquarium while Ziggy has taken up residence at the Woodland Park Zoo.
In the past North American river otters were under threat from fur trappers but now they have become abundant in the rivers of America.
Photo Credit: Oregon Zoo