Almost a year after three orphaned baby otters came into the care of the BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC), the trio has been released back into the wild.
Named Lady, Cowby and Piers for where they were found (Ladysmith, Cowichan Bay and Piers Island), the three were released in late April near Shirley.
This site was chosen because it is remote, it has varied wooded and beach terrain and access to both freshwater and the ocean.
Lady (for Ladysmith) was orphaned after her mom was chased by a dog and dropped her, while Cowby (for Cowichan Bay) was found covered with more than 100 ticks after his mom was scared off. Both otters were so young, their eyes weren’t even open yet.
Piers was found alone and calling for his mother on Piers Island near Swartz Bay. Despite the efforts of the Wild ARC team, his mother couldn’t be found.
The three otters required specialized care so they would have the survival skills needed to be released back into the wild, without becoming habituated to humans.
“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,” Marguerite Sans, Wild ARC’s senior wildlife rehabilitator, says.
To find out more about how you can help animals in need at Wild ARC, visit spca.bc.ca/wildarc.