“They are definitely a conservation success story in Nebraska, thanks to the Game and Parks Commission,” Stastny said.

She couldn’t reveal where the youngster was found but said otters are becoming more common along the Platte and Niobrara Rivers.

This one was discovered in a field on private property, which is abnormal. The property owners correctly left the animal overnight to see if its mother would reclaim it. When she did not, they called Nebraska Wildlife Rehab.

“We don’t know if it was orphaned and wandering or if something happened while the mom was moving it from one den to another,” Stastny said.

The female was dehydrated but otherwise healthy. She’s still on formula but is weaning over to solids.

The one enclosure that Nebraska Wildlife Rehab has for water mammals is occupied by two baby beavers, so the group is building a temporary home for the otter at its facility in Washington County.

“We swim her every day in a smaller pool,” Stastny said. “She needs to go into a big outdoor enclosure with a big outdoor pool so she can swim at will. Otters live mostly on fish. She needs a pool deep enough to practice fishing.”

The plan is to purchase a deep horse tank, bury it in the ground and build a cage around it.

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