Known for their cute and endearing personalities, otters are in increasing demand in the illegal pet trade in Southeast Asia. Wildlife Alliance rehabilitates and releases as many of the otters we rescue as we can, however, many that come from the pet trade were taken from their mothers at a young age and are unable to learn the essential skills they need to survive in the wild. This project will raise the funds to provide lifelong care and a new enclosure for a newly rescued pet otter.
WA recently rescued a smooth-coated otter from the illegal pet trade. Otters are very unsuitable pets as they investigate everything with their teeth. To make him gentler, his owners filed his canines, which likely caused a great deal of pain and trauma. He is unable to catch live fish; therefore, he requires a permanent home at the rescue center. He is temporarily housed in our quarantine area; however, we need to build him a proper enclosure so we can provide him with the best care possible.
Since this otter will require lifelong care, we need to build him an enclosure with a sizable pool, den area and plenty of space to exhibit as many natural behaviors as possible. The space we would use at PTWRC is well forested and already contains lots of large rocks for climbing and native vegetation to explore. Any extra funds will be used to create specialized enrichment devices and even possibly a solar-powered waterfall to give him lots of mental stimulation.
In the future, this otter can become part of a breeding pair where his offspring could be suitable for future release initiatives. This is the best possible long-term scenario as he can help to bolster wild populations. In 2019, the first-ever family of otters was released in the Angkor Protected Forest as part of a larger re-wildling program conducted by Wildlife Alliance with APSARA and the Cambodian Forestry Administration, with plans to release more in the future.