Two Orphaned Otter Pups Have a New Home and a New Friend
The female pup was found wandering a construction site near Gold Beach. Oregon State Police took her to Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center in nearby Josephine County. Wildlife Images, a nonprofit facility, cared for the animal while final placement was determined by staff at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Since the young otter could not be reunited with her mom, and would not be able to survive in the wild without her, ODFW contacted the Oregon Zoo to see whether it had space available once the pup's health stabilized. The female is estimated to be about 6 weeks old and weighs about 3.5 pounds.
The male, who was suffering from a respiratory infection, was found near a golf course in McMinnville and was temporarily cared for at the Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center near Salem. He is about 4 weeks old and weighs about 2.4 pounds.
"Our preference for them would have been rehab and release," said Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo's Great Northwest area. "However, wildlife officials said that was not possible so we're happy we could give them a second chance. We have a good track record with orphaned otters. Our adult otter, Tilly, was also rescued as a pup, and she's helped raise an orphan as well."
"They started playing as soon as we introduced them," said zoo veterinarian Dr. Kelly Flaminio, who received the pups from ODFW on Friday evening. "The smaller pup ate like a champ, and is more interested in solid foods than formula. The female only wanted to play."
As the pups gain weight and staff are sure they’re developing well, they’ll be introduced to Tilly, an adult otter at Oregon Zoo who’s raised her own pups and an adopted pup, Little Pudding. We’re sure Tilly will do a great job raising these two!