Updated: Sep 19
The North American River Otter all but disappeared from Kentucky in the early 1900s. The reintroduction project began in 1991. Kentucky was not the only state working towards bringing back the otter's numbers. Otters usually have a burrow near the water's edge. Often times, they will use burrows from muskrats. The female gives birth to a litter in the burrow. They typically breed from December to April. River Otter pups are born at about five ounces furless and blind. The young will open their eyes after 30-38 days. The males do not help with raising the pups. Only after they are over two months old and grow in their waterproof coats will the mother introduce the pups to water. Though they are thought to be natural born swimmers, the young require their mother's close supervision until they master swimming on their own.
Sometimes, storms can wash out an otter's burrow. This can leave the young otter pups defenseless and alone. This just so happens to be how our little otter, Odin, came into care. He was brought to us cold, wet, and extremely frightened. His whole world changed that day. River Otters can be extremely difficult to raise. They require the care from an experienced wildlife rehabber.
We enjoy Odin's presence and look forward to helping him grow!