At Clearwater Marine Aquarium the rescue and rehabilitation of their animals is always their main focus.
It’s wonderful when you see an organization come together with the same goals, rescue and give these animals another chance at life that they otherwise wouldn’t have out in the wild.
Like in the case of Petunia. Out in the wild, Petunia wouldn’t have survived without her Mother’s care that’s when the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Rescue Team stepped in.
The otter kit (baby otter) was found by a Good Samaritan in their backyard on January 28th. The resident put the baby otter in a box for safety and contacted the CMA Rescue Team immediately and they rescued the otter kit that same evening and she was put under the watchful care of the CMA veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt. Petunia was estimated to be only 3 weeks old and they put her on a treatment plan that included fluids with added dextrose.
While the CMA Team did attempt to reunite Petunia with her mother, they were unsuccessful as the mother could not be found. On January 30th they transferred her to CROW (Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) in Sanibel, Florida where she will be around other otter kits and be able to continue her rehabilitation there until she is ready to go back to the wild.
It is uncertain why Petunia was found all alone without her Mother, but female otters have been known to move their dens several times during a kit season due to various natural and man-made situations.
In a situation like this, CMA has some tips if you ever come across an animal either in distress or a baby that has been separated from his family.
- Do Not try moving, touching or crowd the animal, also keep other animals like family pets away from the animal.
- Watch the area from a safe distance for about 15 mins to see if maybe the Mom or it’s pod or pack return.
- Call CMA or your local wildlife rescue organization right away before you intervene in any way. CMA can be reached on their 24 hour rescue hotline at 727-441-1790 Ext 1
These helpful tips will not only help make sure the safety and care of the animal is taken into consideration, but is also for the care and safety of people. Many animals may seem docile but can act aggressively as a form of defense and some can carry diseases like rabies. So for the safety of the animals and humans alike, always be cautious and mind these helpful tips.
At Clearwater Marine Aquarium they strongly believe in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine life, environmental education, research and conservation. Staff and volunteers work each day to rescue marine life and provide the most advanced care to maximize the opportunity to return sick or injured animals back to their natural homes/environments.
Together we can all make a difference and help in the conservation of our wild life.
For more information, visit the CMA website.
If you would like to visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium and see some of the animals that they care for that couldn’t be returned to the wild and now call CMA their Forever Home, be sure to check out their amazing facility in Clearwater, Florida and see how their work makes a difference and helps gives those animals another lease on life.
Watch Petunia’s rescue story here..