North American River Otters (#21-458) (#21-488) (#21-871)

North American River Otters (#21-458) (#21-488) (#21-871)
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Feb 10 2021

North American river otters are the most abundant otter species.  They have playful, sociable personalities.  As semi-aquatic mammals, they can thrive in any water habitat-cold, warm, or high-elevation areas-as long as the habitat provides adequate food.

On February 10, a male juvenile river otter was admitted after being found alone on the side of the road. He presented as a healthy orphan and has been recieving supportive care.

Status Updates

Intake - Feb 10 2021 2:30 pm

Upon initial examination, the patient presented as a healthy orphan. Veterinarians reported no significant findings during the intake exam. The healthy orphan was placed in supportive care to begin on a regular feeding schedule.


Evening Feed - Feb 10 2021 5:00 pm

After being placed in supportive care, the young river otter patient began a regular feeding schedule. A natural, nutritional meal mixture was provided.


Emotional Support - Feb 11 2021 9:00 am

North American river otters are social animals. When an otter is admitted to CROW alone, they can display behavior consistent with feelings of loneliness and depression. Behaviors such as overgrooming themselves or pacing in their recovery enclosure can be counterproductive to healing. Since this otter patient came in alone, the rehabilitation staff was quick to give him a giant stuffed otter for comfort. Inclusion of stuffed animals has proven to have positive effects in an orphaned patient's overall recovery.


New Addition - Feb 22 2021 10:00 am

On February 12, an orphaned female river otter was transferred into our care from Peace River Wildlife Center. The two are now being housed together to benefit them in their development since otters are incredibly social animals and rely on learning appropriate otter behaviors from each other.


First Time in the Tub - Mar 02 2021 9:00 am

Both river otters were cleared to begin twice-a-day tub time! Otters are semi-aquatic mammals. Tub time allows them to learn natural behaviors that benefit them during rehabilitation and recovery.


Otter Group Gains New Member - Mar 10 2021 3:14 pm

On March 10, an orphaned North American river otter was transferred to us from the Raptor Center of Tampa Bay. The young female was found alone in a drainage gutter in Brandon, FL. When she arrived, she was placed on a feeding plan and introduced to her roommates. They all have been spending their days in an outdoor enclosure designed to encourage foraging, swimming, and other natural behaviors.


Moved to Otter Enclosure - Apr 15 2021 10:00 am

The three North American river otters had day camp each day in a multipurpose enclosure near the hospital. They were starting to learn natural behaviors from each other in a space with a small pool appropriate for their size and age. Now they have grown and need a larger space. On April 15, the otters were moved to our otter enclosure. It is designed specifically for otters including a deep pool for diving, more room to move around, and a den with a door where they can be separated from the rest of the enclosure during cleanings to limit human interactions. The enclosure is located in one of the furthest areas from the hospital so the otters do not become habituated to hearing human voices and loud noises. Otters typically spend eight to ten months with their mothers before they are independent in the wild. Reducing the amount of time spent near humans will benefit them in their development and give them a better chance of survival once released. The 'Otter Cam' is now live on our website where they can be observed enjoying their days in a new environment.