Attention Anglers: Florida Wildlife Clinic Looking for Help Feeding Orphaned Otters
A Florida wildlife rehabilitation center needs help feeding "three very hungry, growing otters."
Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) in Sanibel Island is calling on local anglers to help fill the otters' cute little bellies with live fish over the next couple of months.
The orphaned river otters have been in the care of CROW since they were just a few weeks old. North American river otters are social creatures and otter pups typically remain with their mom for their first year of life. They are typically capable of surviving on their own by seven to eight months old, but without their mother to teach them how to feed themselves, the clinic has a lot of work to do to get them up to speed.
"One of the most important skills our otter patients need to develop is how to hunt," Breanna Frankel, rehabilitation manager at CROW, said in a news release. "With a steady supply of live fish, the otters can finely tune their hunting skills to ensure their success once released into the wild."
That's where volunteer anglers come in.
According to rehab staff, 15-20 live fish are needed per day. Nonnative, freshwater fish like Mayan cichlids are preferred. Feeding invasive fish to the pups accomplishes two things: it removes invaders from local waterways while providing food for the otters.
All Florida freshwater fishing regulations must be followed, including being a licensed angler. If you are interested in helping provide fish for the otters, email Frankel at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit Bit.ly/FishForTheOtters.
Happy fishing, y'all!