Florida Wildlife Center Looking For Volunteer Fishermen To Help Feed Orphaned Otters

Three orphaned otters arrived at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) when they were just a few weeks old.

While North American river otters typically stay close to their mothers for the first year, the Southwest Florida rehab center believes by seven to eight months old they will be able to survive on their own – if properly taught how to hunt.

CROW staff has spent the past few months raising the adorable otters but need help in providing the necessary food. Their diet consists mostly of freshwater fish, and they consume about 15-20 fish per day.

The wildlife center is in need of volunteer anglers to catch non-native freshwater fish, preferably Mayan cichlids, but they must be alive.

“One of the most important skills our otter patients need to develop is how to hunt,” states Breanna Frankel, rehabilitation manager at CROW. “With a steady supply of live fish, the otters can finely tune their hunting skills to ensure their success once released into the wild.”

The solution is a win-win. The invasive species is removed from local waterways and provides food for the otters.

The goal is to release the otters into the wild once they are old enough and have learned the necessary skills to survive on their own.

CROW will need a “handful” of volunteers for the next few months as the otters continue to grow. They took to Facebook in search of volunteers and posted, “CALLING ALL ANGLERS! We currently have three very hungry, growing otters to feed and are in need of volunteer anglers to catch live freshwater fish.”

All licensed anglers are welcome and are asked to email CROW Rehabilitation Manager, Breanna Frankel at bfrankel@crowclinic.org for more information.

In the meantime, the otters are being spoiled with a kiddie pool filled with ice and fish as an enrichment treat. Watch as they devour the fish and then play with the ice in the video below. Don’t forget to share!

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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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