ASHBORO, N.C. – After their mother was hit by a car, two orphaned river otters are recovering thanks to a few North Carolina state agencies.
Officials say that the six-week-old otter pups will be released back to the wild after they are rehabilitated. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and North Carolina Zoo are the organizations jointly working with these animals.
While they will be released at some point this late summer or early fall, the otters are expected to still stay in the care of wildlife officials for the next few months, and are currently in the care of the North Carolina Zoo’s Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehab Center.
“This is such a great example of how state agencies can work together to achieve wonderful results,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources. “I am so proud of our zoo and aquarium staffs and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for all they do every single day to nurture and protect not only the animals under their care, but also the wild creatures that need their help, from injured sea turtles to these orphaned otters. We are lucky to have such dedicated and caring people working for North Carolina.”
The otters were originally found by a community member on April 23 near Engelhard, North Carolina, who then called NCWRC.
“We are caring for them as hands-off as possible – we want to be respectful of their wild nature, ensuring natural behaviors are maintained for a successful release,” said Dr. Minter.
To follow the progress of the otter pups, follow the North Carolina Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.