The otter that the residents of Winnipeg found in the city downtown is finally returning to its wild habitat.
In February, several Winnipeggers saw an otter under a garbage can and immediately contacted Winnipeg Humane Society. Centre staff immediately carried the animal to Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre to cure it and prepare for the wild.
The otter was not injured, however it weighed less than necessary and was dehydrated. However, as soon as it began to receive the right amount of food, its weight immediately returned to normal.
Tiffany Lui, Wildlife Haven animal care co-ordinator, said that the centre's workers thought out various ways in order to adapt the animal to its usual life more quickly and to find a home for it. They hid food in the snow so that the otter would go hunting and search for food.
Lui added that it was really interesting for all of the workers. The rescue team helped the otter to gain weight and it became ready for independent living.
A provincial spokesperson explained that Manitoba Sustainable Development worked together with Wildlife Haven to find the best place for the otter to live. On Monday, they found the perfect one. It is to the southeast of Winnipeg, not far from water and food sources, and far from people. After several minutes the otter felt confident and jumped out of the box into the water.
The centre saves animals every day and sometimes more than 50 calls are received daily. However, the otter story has attracted much more attention than the stories of other animals. It was very unusual to see this animal in the centre of a noisy city.
Over the past 30+ years, this is the third time Wildlife Haven saves an otter.