It was a happy ending for a trio of orphaned otters who were released into the wild recently after almost a year in care at the B.C. SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) on Vancouver Island.
The trio were released late last month on a beach near Shirley (just north of Sooke) – chosen for its remote location, varied wooded and beach terrain, which gives them lots of places to hide, and access to both fresh water and the ocean.
“We know we’ve done everything we can to prepare them for the wild, doing a release is one of the happiest days for our staff and volunteers,” said Marguerite Sans, Wild ARC’s senior wildlife rehabilitator.
The otters were found between May and June of last year. Lady was found in Ladysmith and was orphaned after her mom was chased by a dog and dropped her. Cowby was found in Cowichan Bay covered with more than 100 ticks after his mom was scared off. Both were so young their eyes hadn’t opened yet.
Piers was found alone and calling for his mother on Piers Island near Swartz Bay. The Wild ARC team searched for his mother, but she couldn’t be found.
Over the months in recovery, staff had to keep the trio busy, fed and cleaned. The otters required extremely specialized care so that the would have the survival skills needed to be released into the wild, without becoming habituated to humans.
Now, at 10 months old, staff agreed they’re ready to live on their own.