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Three smooth-coated otter pups were found floating on hyacinth leaves following recent floods in India's Kaziranga National Park.
Some local fishermen spotted the pups and turned them over to the Forest Department staff, “who called us to collect them as they could not locate the mother or their den,” said Dr. Anjan Talukdar, International Fund for Animal Welfare – Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) veterinarian.
The trio are now being hand-reared at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC). Although this is the first instance of otters being admitted to CWRC, a rehabilitation facility run by the Assam Forest Department and IFAW-WTI, the staff is ready to help them survive, thrive, and return to the wild.
“The rehabilitation method to be followed is like IFAW-WTI’s 'walk the bear' or elephant reintegration programs…only in this case, the foster mother will have to 'swim the otters' at the release site for certain period of time, with supplementary fish,” said Dr. Ashraf, Senior Director of IFAW-WTI.
Smooth-coated otters are found across south and southeast Asia.