“They are definitely a conservation achievement in Nebraska, thanks to the Game and Parks Commission,” Stastny said.
She could not reveal where the young was found, but said otters were becoming increasingly common along the Platte and Niobrara rivers.
This was discovered in a field on private property, which is abnormal. The owners properly left the animal overnight to see if its mother would pick it up. When she didn’t, they called Nebraska Wildlife Rehab.
“We don’t know if he was an orphan and a wanderer or if something happened while the mother moved him from one den to another,” Stastny said.
The female was dehydrated but otherwise healthy. She is still on infant formula but is in the process of fattening.
The only enclosure the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab has for aquatic mammals is occupied by two baby beavers. The group is therefore building a temporary home for the otter at its Washington County facility.
“We swim her everyday in a smaller pool,” Stastny said. “She has to go to a large outdoor enclosure with a large outdoor pool to be able to swim at will. Otters live primarily on fish. She needs a basin deep enough to practice fishing.
The plan is to buy a deep horse tank, bury it in the ground, and build a cage around it.