provided to The Santiva Chronicle
“One of the most important skills our otter patients need to develop is how to hunt,” says Breanna Frankel, rehabilitation manager at CROW. “With a steady supply of live fish, the otters can finely tune their hunting skills to ensure their success once released into the wild.”
Nonnative, freshwater fish such as Mayan cichlids are the preferred fish for rehabilitation staff to offer the otters. Removing invasive fish from our waterways helps to preserve native species and habitat while also providing food for the otters. CROW is in need of a dedicated handful of volunteers to take on this task over the next couple of months. According to rehab staff, 15-20 live fish are needed per day.
All Florida freshwater fishing regulations must be followed, including being a licensed angler. If you are interested in helping provide fish for the otters, please send an email to CROW Rehabilitation Manager, Breanna Frankel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and coordination.
The orphaned otters have been in care at CROW since they were just a few weeks old. North American river otters are very social creatures and otter pups typically remain with their mother throughout their first year of life. By seven to eight months old, they are capable of surviving on their own.
About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond. Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to www.crowclinic.org. If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.