After five months of rehabilitation, The Wild Center has released two female North American river otters in the Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station, a 15,000-acre biological field research station in the Western Adirondacks.
This otter rehabilitation, a first for The Wild Center, began in May after receiving phone calls from residents in two separate areas within the North Country that had each spotted a five-week-old abandoned river otter pup in the wild. Wild Center curator, Leah Valerio, and the rest of the Animal Care staff worked with local veterinarian Dr. Nina Schoch to retrieve the pups and transport them to the Center’s facilities in Tupper Lake.
After spending the requisite month in our wildlife quarantine space, the otters spent their time at The Wild Center learning how to swim and dive, groom their fur, and hunt for fish – skills they would have learned from their mother in the wild. Wild Center staff tracked their progress through live video programs which can be accessed on their website.
As the seasons changed, the otters were successfully released back into the wild. The Shingle Shanty Preserve will provide an excellent home for the otters. This land includes nine lakes and ponds over acres of hardwood forest, as well as 2,000 acres of wetlands which make the location invaluable to regional biodiversity, including small mammals like river otters.
The Center is currently home to five otters: Louie, Scarlett, Squirt, Tawi:ne and Rohsno:re.
More information can be found on the Wild Center’s website.
Photos, from above: of one of the female North American river otters rehabilitated and released by The Wild Center; and one of the otters weighing in upon arrival at The Wild Center, provided.