They are active during the day and at night, hunting in streams, rivers and ponds for fish, crayfish and turtles. The otter was moved to our outdoor otter recovery enclosure which was specifically designed for otters. Hospital staff received a … Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building "It was attacking her to death," said Vanon. The father is usually chased off until the babies are weaned, at which time he may return to help raise the family. By the 1980s there were 26 states in which otters were rare or extinct. The biting force of their jaws is comparable to a German shepherd. David Hitzig, executive director of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter, thinks the otter probably was being territorial and protective of its babies. Cape Coral Canal System is a 375.8 mile stream. This water-loving animal is found throughout Florida except the Keys. River otters are built for wet places. Tour days are limited to Monday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. stream ecosystems. When Europeans first arrived in North America, river otters were abundant across the continent from the Rio Grande north to Alaska, missing only in the desert states. BROUGHT TO YOU BY ROUGH & READY MEDIA, DONATION CART    PRIVACY POLICY     CONTACT. As a thank you, H-E-B employees are receiving a big... Houston suburb named one of America's best small cities. Twitter A sign warning people about the otter that was posted by wildlife officials in Lake Lily Park in Maitland, Fla. At two months the babies are introduced to the water, sometimes clinging to mother’s back until they are proficient swimmers. In the wild, a river otter might reach a 14th birthday; in captivity, a 25th. Otters have a high metabolic rate, an adaptation for living in an aquatic environment where body heat is rapidly lost. Last week’s column about Peace River Wildlife Center’s river otter patients raised many questions. "They are usually shy and playful. They are partial to clean, unpolluted waterways and locations far away from the commotion of people. (That’s the equivalent of 30 pounds of food for a 200-pound person. The otter was in good condition and had no apparent injuries but was not showing an appropriate level of fear. "They are usually shy and playful. Please, never feed wildlife; if you see an animal you believe is in need of assistance, call the wildlife hospital for guidance. "It is abnormal behavior for otters," said Wesley Seitz, a nuisance biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She will teach them to hunt and find shelter. River otters remain protected in five states, and the United States Forest Service lists them as a sensitve species. Otters can swim 8 mph and dive up to 36 feet, though few Florida waterways have such depths. In the wake of the attack, Wiley seems afraid of getting close to the canal, Vannon said. Here's what Twitter had to say about it, Live blog: 2020 election results for Harris County, Texas, Padre Island National Seashore shares photo of another strange creature that washed ashore, See all the results from Harris County's 2020 elections, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Males are larger than females. Our plan was to lure the otter into the crate using food and then have the otter transported to the Conservancy for care. (That’s the equivalent of 30 pounds of food for a 200-pound person. This was not safe for the otter or the people involved. If you have a fish pond an otter may find it. They may dig their own burrow or remodel a beaver’s burrow. Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Initiative. Leah Vanon learned that lesson the hard way. She never heard a neighbor complain about the otters' behavior. You have permission to edit this article. Please visit the Conservancy website at to view all of the amazing volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The males are 30% larger and heavier then the females. River otters are members of Mustelidae, family of mammals that includes weasels, minks, badgers and ferrets. They are born in a den that the mother has dug or commandeered from another animal, in the bank of a river, creek or pond. Legal options to take a nuisance river otter. Last weekend, a 77-year-old Florida woman had to get stitches … In case you need another reason to protect this species, try watching them in the wild (or at your nearest zoo’s breeding program) while they frolic and cavort. Examine hydrologic data for the 90-square-mile area of flatwoods east of Charlotte Harbor. A typical litter will consist of one to three pups (sometimes called kits or kittens). River otters are found in every North American habitat except desert,. By Joanna Fitzgerald | Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, See a full list of our Social Media accounts. They are open seven days a week year-round, including holidays. These are the 10 best Texas cities for retirement. The center is in an extremely rural setting with a pond that allows rehabilitating otters to catch live fish. Their heads are on the flat side and equipped with oversized ears. Unlike many specialized animals that are adapted to water and clumsy on land, otters can run quite well at up to 18 mph. As far as we can tell, their population in Florida is secure, but spotting them can be difficult — river otters tend to be most active at night, and they tend to shy away from humans. Unlike many specialized animals that are adapted to water and clumsy on land, otters … The river otter is adapted for both land and water with short legs, webbed toes, and a strong, flattened tail. Pursuant to section 120.74, Florida Statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Agency Regulatory Plan. 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL • (850) 488-4676 duction of river otter pelts. By the 1980s, there were 26 states in which otters were rare or extinct.