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North Carolina Zoo Provide Second Chance for Abandoned Otters

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: May 28, 2020 9:17 pm

Photo Credit: North Carolina Zoo

Vets at the North Carolina Zoo have become parents to three abandoned otter pups in the hopes of raising them ready for a successful release to the wild.

These three North American River Otter pups were found in separate sites across Eastern North Carolina. At between 12-18 weeks old they are too young at present to live without their mother. Bringing them together as a group to be raised will increase their chance of survival when they go back to the wild.

The Wildlife Center’s veterinarian technician, Halley Buckanoff explained the advantage of raising them as a group, “Creating these foster families allows them to socialize with their species, and the younger ones often learn from their older ‘siblings’.”

“Right now, they’re sleeping together, eating alongside each other with no signs of competition, and swimming together. They’re doing great as a group,” continued Buckanoff.

The three otter pups were rescued by two separate organizations. The first was found on May 12th at a parking lot and rescued by A Wild Life: Center for Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release. This pup is a female and at an estimated 14-16 weeks old is the oldest of the group.

The other two, which are male were found by Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS) two days apart. The first was rescued on April 25th and the second on April 27th. One was found near its mother who had unfortunately fallen victim to a vehicle strike.

Photo Credit: North Carolina Zoo

This group has now come together at the zoo’s, Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where they will be raised for the next few months. During this time they will move from formula to fish and begin to explore an outdoor enclosure where they can gain the skills they will need for the wild.

To ensure success when released in to the wild they will be raised in a hands off manner as Dr. Jb Minter, the Zoo’s Director of Animal Health explained, “We are caring for them as hands-off as possible because we want to preserve their natural behaviors to ensure they have a better chance of surviving in the wild.”

The release will take place in late summer or early fall.

Learn more about the North Carolina Zoo on their website – North Carolina Zoo

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