Orphan Otter Finds Home - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Orphan Otter Finds Home

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - An orphan otter was found by two young boys wandering the woods. For more than three hours, they watched the little critter run around, but the mother was nowhere to seen. Separated from his mother, this otter was facing certain death, when he found a home amongst humans.

Bob Hughes and his wife Margaret Colvin took the otter into their homes, and are literally raising the creature like their own child. They are members of the Delaware Council of Wildlife, Rehabilitators, and Educators, a group that takes in injured, sick, and orphaned animals, helping them to mature and become independent.

"Orphaned animals are just like puppies and kittens," Hughes said. "They just can't live on their own. They're not old enough yet."

The council is made up of about 15 volunteers who are dispersed throughout the state. They take in far more than just otters, from squirrels and dear to raccoons and possums. They give them a roof, feed them, keep them warm, and then eventually let them back into the wild. Their newest resident is the two month otter, which the boys that found him have named Joey.

"Before long," Hughes said as he held the otter in his hands. "They think you're their mommy and they don't want to leave you. And there comes a time when we hope releases them, if all goes well."

This council is one of many organizations that are in other states. They are given a license to take care of these animals from the state. Hughes said they have received great training, and have been vaccinated for diseases like rabies.

In his basement there are cages, holding a hodge-podge of critters. They have a trio of foxes, one an orphan, the second with an injured foot, and the third suffering from blindness. There's also a duo of orphaned raccoons, which are just a couple months old. Hughes said most of them will have a second chance at life because of this treatment.
 
"It's rewarding," he said. "And how many people get to handle an otter?"

If you want to donate to the organization, you can visit their website www.dewildliferescue.com
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