Playful river otter rescued from freezing underneath garbage bin near University of Winnipeg

Being captured is hard work. Otty the Otter chills out in his temporary home. Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre

It really otter know better.

A wily otter was rescued Friday from the University of Winnipeg after it was found apparently living under a green garbage bin.

Nihal Bhullar, 20, told 680 CJOB she was leaving a building with her lunch and making her way to class when she spotted a young man on the phone, peering under a large dumpster.

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“So I walked up to him and I ask him what he’s doing, and he says ‘There’s an otter under there, I’m on hold with animal control.'”

The man eventually left, so Buhllar and a woman named Dawn Williams decided to hang out with the otter, who they named Otty, while trying to get him help over the next two hours.

“The two hours that we were watching him, he was like, flip around, play in the snow, playing in the garbage that was outside of the garbage can. He made himself a little slide that he would slide on and off of.”

Buhllar called the Winnipeg Humane Society’s emergency rescue team as well as Manitoba Conservation.

Otty the Otter enjoys a fish. Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre
Otty the Otter enjoys a fish. Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre. Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre

“We stopped people from using the garbage can because that could frighten the otter that’s underneath, and I was on and off the phone with Manitoba Conservation for the entire two hours until about 2:15 when the emergency response team for the Humane Society showed up,” she said.

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Otty decided to make a run for it rather than be captured, and managed to wiggle his way under several fences before being caught with a net between two apartment blocks, said Buhllar.

“They had to go on a little bit of a chase, but they finally got him and took him to the Humane Society.”

Otty has a warm bath. Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre. Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre

Otty spent a relaxing afternoon at the Winnipeg Humane Society before was picked up by Manitoba Conservation and transported to the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre and put under observation.

Saturday morning, Otty the River Otter was doing well but was a little underweight, said a spokesperson for the Centre. When he’s healthy, he’ll be released back into the wild.

“Nobody has any clue where he came from,” said Buhllar.

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