Clearwater Marine Aquarium Rescues Otter Pup
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Marine Aquarium's (CMA) stranding team rescued an otter pup Sunday afternoon in Indian Rocks Beach. She was lying in the sun in an open field near a tennis court. CMA volunteer "Sunny" responded to the call, so that's the name the female pup received. The three-month-old weighs about three pounds and is enjoying getting used to her new environment.
This is the time of year otter pups are spotted trying to make it on their own. You may remember "Oscar," who was found near a dumpster last year in Largo. If you see any otter pups, please do not approach them and immediately call our stranding line at (727) 441-1790 ext. 234.
Some people describe them as looking like small brown ferrets from a distance. Adult female otters have litters of anywhere between one and six. In nature, not all can keep up and some can get left behind or encounter obstacles. Otter moms nurse and assist in the development of vital life skills in their first year of life. Mom will often catch and release pray for the pups to practice their skills. Without mom to protect them, pups are vulnerable to predation and lack life skills related to finding food.
North American river otters are fresh water animals and can be found throughout all of North America in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. They are in the Mustilidae family, which also includes ferrets, skunks, weasels, and sea otters. North American river otters are not endangered and due to decreased habitats, are often found in residential neighborhoods or other populated areas.
As part of its free speaker series, CMA will host a presentation on April 15th at 6:00 p.m. on "All About Otters."
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