PALM SHORES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - For the past two weeks, staff and volunteers at the Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary have been busy raising three North American river otter pups. At approximately five weeks of age, the exceptionally fluffy patients remain highly dependent on their caretakers.
The pups, which are from the same litter, were found in Titusville at a residential construction site. When the den was discovered, an adult otter ran off and never returned. Tracy Frampton, the Hospital's executive director, said the otters are "doing well, but their condition could change at any moment. No matter how hard we try, mom does a better job than we do."
If the otters survive the critical early period, they will eventually be moved to a large outdoor enclosure with a pool and fed live food.
Frampton says the Hospital is mostly in need of financial donations, followed by plastic playground equipment and 12-inch PVC pipes. Raising each otter will cost an estimated $2,300.
"If you find otter pups in the wild, leave them alone," said Frampton. "As tempting as it is to intervene, their mom is probably nearby and returning shortly."
The Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding sick, injured and orphaned native Florida wildlife and migratory birds, and to return them to the ecosystem. The Florida Wildlife Hospital is open to admit patients 365 days a year and treats approximately 5,000 patients each year.