North American River Otters #19-0195 & #19-0196

North American River Otters #19-0195 & #19-0196
Jan 25 2019

These two youngsters, one boy (#19-0195) and one girl (#19-0196), were found in a construction area in Punta Gorda after it was bulldozed last week with the mother nowhere to be found. They were taken to our friends at Peace River Wildlife Center - PRWC who provided care until they were stable enough to transfer to the #CROWClinic for long term care. They were given a check-up by our veterinary staff and appear to be in good health.

Baby otters require long term care until they are old enough to survive on their own. In the wild, they would stay with their mom as a family group for approximately seven to eight months or more.

Status Updates

Weighing In - Jan 25 2019 8:25 am

Both otters were weighed as part of their intake exams. The young male otter weighed in at 590 grams, while the female otter weighed in at 530 grams. These weights will be used as a baseline to monitor their progress as they grow.

Slight Nasal Discharge - Jan 28 2019 9:12 am

Otters this young (about a month old) are in a very delicate stage of their life and are very susceptible to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. The young male had a slight discharge from his nose over the weekend, so both otters were started on antibiotics to help treat and prevent any further issues.

Feeding Time - Jan 28 2019 3:03 pm

Over the weekend, the young otters have begun adjusting to their new home at the clinic. Rehabilitation staff has been busy providing them with milk which is specially formulated for mustelids such as otters, beavers and other members of the weasel family. At their young age, the otters require being fed up to five times a day. Both otters have gained weight since being admitted. The male otter weighed 614 grams and the female weighed 601 grams today. Visit our YouTube Channel for a video of feeding time today!

Rough Day - Jan 30 2019 8:42 am

Yesterday was a rough day getting the little otters to suckle during feeding times. Rehabilitation staff have switched from using nipple feeds to tube feeding to ensure that the otters are getting the proper nutrition and to prevent aspiration. The male otter has lost a little bit of weight, but the female has gained a few more grams.

Tube Feeding - Feb 01 2019 11:49 am

The baby otters have shown a slight improvement over the last couple of days with the tube feedings and adjustments to their nutrient intakes by our rehabilitation staff. The young male has now fully opened his eyes and is up to 620 grams. The female has not yet opened her eyes, but continues to gain weight and is now at 708 grams!

Female is suckling - Feb 04 2019 8:57 am

Over the weekend, the female otter has done well with suckling and no longer needs to be tube fed. The young male continues to have trouble suckling and still needs tube fed to ensure he gets his nutrition. Both otters have gained weight and antibiotics which were used to prevent pneumonia and other respiratory diseases have been discontinued. The male is now up to 656 grams and the female is up to 742 grams.

Eyes Fully Opened - Feb 06 2019 12:32 pm

Both otters have now fully opened their eyes. With their new view on the world they have become more active and vocal. Rehabilitation staff have began introducing more solid food, although it will still be some time until they no longer require being nipple/tube fed. The male is gaining more weight now and is up to 762 grams. The female weighed in at 794 grams today.

Getting Bigger - Feb 11 2019 9:23 am

Both otters continue to do well and gain weight. The male otter is still not interested in being nipple-fed and continues to need tube feedings. The female otter continues to do well with being nipple-fed. Neither otter has been interested in the soft mash, but rehab staff continue to offer it. The male weighed in at 911 grams while the female is up to 923 grams.

Fan Mail - Feb 11 2019 12:07 pm

We would like to send a big thank you to the students of Ms. McDonald's first grade reading group at Colonial Elementary School in Fort Myers. They recently learned about otter habitats, the food they eat, how they find food, and how they live which happened to coincide with reading the newspaper article about the two baby otters in care at CROW. The students all wrote letters of encouragement and well wishes for the otters!

Sad News - Feb 12 2019 9:01 am

We are very sad to report that we lost the female baby otter unexpectedly last night. Dr. Larned attempted resuscitation but was unsuccessful. The male baby otter also developed complications of bloat last night and radiographs showed signs consistent with possible pneumonia – he is in oxygen, and was started on injectable antibiotics and we are hoping we caught it in time to save him. Our staff is extremely heartbroken by the turn of events.

More sad news - Feb 13 2019 8:13 am

Despite intensive care and hard work by our staff to do everything in their power to save him, the young male also passed away last night. We are all extremely devastated by his passing.