Patient update: Patient 1,000 gets release

Learn About Patient #21-1000

  • Classification: Mammal
  • Species: River Otter (Lutra canadensi)
  • Lifespan in the Wild: 8-9yrs
  • Length: 3-3.5ft
  • Weight: 11-30lbs
  • Range in the Wild: wide distribution across US and Canada, sparse in Great Plains
  • Habitat in the Wild: aquatic
    • Diet in the Wild: fish, birds, frogs, insects, shellfish
    • Diet at Wildlife Images: fish, chicken, other meats
    • Injury: Multiple
    • Departure: December 2021
    • Gender: Male


Everyone loves a good success story, especially those of us here at Wildlife Images. Earlier this fall, an juvenile North American River Otter came in as our 1,000th patient of the year. We are happy announce he was released back into the wild last week with a clean bill of health!

This juvenile River Otter came to us from Brookings, Oregon, where he was found in a parking lot with multiple minor injuries, including a wound on his neck. Town and Country Animal Clinic triaged him before being transported to Wildlife Images.

He was brought into the clinic underweight and needed some intensive care. We began feeding him SIX times a day and tending to his wound. Soon, he was feeding well and we were able to feed him larger amounts three times a day! Otter 21-1000 ate THIRTY PERCENT of his body weight every day! That would be like a 100-pound person eating 30 pounds of food every day! What a feat!

He doubled his weight in a matter of weeks from just 3.5 pounds when he arrived. His neck healed, and that allowed us to move forward with rehabilitation.

When caring for this otter, we made sure to make as little noise as possible and wore a full-body suit that breaks up our body pattern and covers our faces! That helped prevent him from getting imprinted on humans, and enabled him to go back into the wild when he was ready!

AS Otter 21-1000 progressed, he was given a new swimming pool and took to it immediately! He passed each test “swimmingly” and was able to prove that he understood a variety of natural food options and that he could successfully catch (a lot of) fish.

We always try to release our patients as close to where they were found, so the clinic staff ventured back to the coast last week to find a suitable location for Otter 21-1000 to make a new home.

This otter is just one of many intakes we have received this year To date, we have taken in more than 1,200 animals for care in our clinic. While it is not always possible, our goal is always to release them back into the wild. We can’t do that without your help.

Consider donating today to help us Save Wildlife. For more information on how to support our mission, click here.