Rescue
Orphaned baby otter follows kids to their home to seek help
The baby otter picked the right people to follow home that day.
Rebecca Reid
11.10.21

A family in South Africa went out for a walk and came home with an otter.

On an outing near their home in Grahamstown, a family was walking along a riverbed when a little friend joined the fun. He followed them everywhere and the family was surprised he was hanging around with them for so long.

The video of the encounter shows the children saying hello to the curious little animal. The kids thought the baby otter had ventured too far from its den but after searching for one, they realized he was alone.

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

The otter never left their side and followed them all the way home.

The orphaned otter went home with the family but they quickly realized that this baby needed proper care. They phoned the Ikhala Veterinary Clinic “Look I don’t know what we are doing here but please come and fetch this baby?”

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

Ikhala’s vet, Candice, had never dealt with rescuing an otter but she couldn’t turn the baby away.

Although it was a learning process, it was a welcome one. “When we got back to the reserve I had to look for a feeding bottle and all I could find was a kitten feeding bottle.” – Candice.

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

Candice and the team at Ikhala named the baby Oscar and he quickly became a beloved member of the rescue center family.

The clinic’s veterinarian couldn’t help but cuddle the adorable baby otter. “This tiny little bundle of fluff, I wasn’t expecting him to be so soft…he was so perfect.” – Candice

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

She reached out to a colleague who suggested they try to bond Oscar with another baby otter living at a rescue center in Johannesburg.

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

Although it was sad to see Oscar go, Candice said it was, “The best two weeks of her life” to have him a the rescue center.

“It’s good for any animal to have a littermate…with how playful otters are it’s just wonderful to have two of them together to stimulate each other.” – Candice

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

The other otter was named Toto and she was a little bit older than Oscar but the two became fast friends.

“So we kind of had to wait for Oscar to catch up,” – Nicci at Johannesburg wildlife veterinary hospital. Nicci knew that Oscar needed to get used to water as part of the rehab process. “They don’t automatically know how to swim.” – Nicci. To ween Oscar from milk, the Johannesburg hospital introduced him to fish and crab so he could get used to the taste.

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

Nicci took the two buddies on walks nearby so they could get a feel for their new habitat.

“What was amazing was seeing them start feeling in the mud.” Nicci saw the two otters digging up freshwater mussels…something she didn’t teach them but they figured out on their own.

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

After about two months, Nicci started noticing a change happening with Toto and Oscar.

“I think it was about two months of walking and suddenly their behavior changes and you kind of know that they’re ready…being part of that experience and getting them to that point it’s the most incredibly huge gift having a look in at their world.” – Nicci

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

The otters eventually left the hospital but the clinic staff still see their footprints in the sand and mud nearby. “They are around.” – Nicci said.

YouTube screenshot - The Dodo
Source:
YouTube screenshot - The Dodo

Now watch this adorable video of Oscar, the rescued otter.

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By Rebecca Reid
hi@sbly.com
Rebecca Reid is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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