Orphaned otters from Maple Ridge learn to fish

Siblings found in Maple Ridge two weeks ago are 15 weeks old. Their mom was most likely hit by a car.

Critter Care in Langley is taking care of Diloo along with sister Mo

Critter Care in Langley is taking care of Diloo along with sister Mo

A pair of orphaned river otters from Maple Ridge are learning how to survive in the wild at a rehabilitation centre in Langley.

The siblings were found two weeks ago hiding under a barbecue in the backyard of a house, their mother nowhere in sight.

“She was most likely hit by a car,” said Angela Fontana, a senior animal care supervisor at the Critter Care Wildlife Society where Mo and her brother Diloo are staying.

Around 15 weeks old, the otters are too young to survive in the wild on their own.

The pair are now living with eight other orphaned otters, where they are picking up skills they would have learned from their mother.

“They are going to start learning how to fish soon,” said Fontana.

“We are going to start giving them live fish. That’s the biggest thing we have to teach them, making sure they can catch fish on their own.”

The river otter, a member of the weasel family, is comfortable in water and on land. They live in burrows close to the water’s edge in river, lake, swamp or coastal ecosystems.

Although fish is a favoured meal for otters, they also eat frogs and small birds.

Mo and Diloo will be released in the fall since they’ve spent more time in the wild. The other otters will stay at Critter Care through winter. “We are quite confident that they’ll be fine in the wild,” said Fontana.

Critter Care Wildlife Society specializes in the treatment, care and release of sick, injured and orphaned mammals. It is also one of four bear rehab centres in the province.

Besides otters, the society has cared for bears, racoons, Douglas squirrels, skunks and minks from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The non-profit society receives a few grants but relies on donations for its day-to-day operations, costs which can often balloon if there is a sudden influx of animals. Rehabilitating one bear cub costs $5,000. Critter Care released 16 cubs in April.

“Our fundraisers are very important,” said Elaine Stirling, a volunteer at Critter Care for the past eight years, who is organizing the society’s fourth annual “walk-a-thon.”

It’s baby season, so the centre is currently caring for 105 raccoon kits, 51 baby skunks, three fawns, three coyote pups, the otters and several other small mammals.

Most of the donations raised go towards purchasing a special milk formula for baby animals, as well as medication.

The society also has to buy fish for the otters.

Fontana says 10 river otters eat about 10 kilograms of fish a day.

“We’ve got some people to donate salmon so we’re pretty lucky,” she added.

 

Walk on wild side

• Critter Care’s fourth annual walk-a-thon takes place Sept. 30 at Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley. Onsite registration starts at 11:15 a.m. and the walk starts at 12:15 p.m. Register online at www.crittercarewildlife.org or call Judy at 604 – 857 – 8811 or e-mail jiidii@hotmail.com or call Cathy at 604 – 530 – 2350, email: claycath@telus.net.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of Maple Ridge man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Langley, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge still driving more, taking transit less

A sign to students outside Pitt Meadows secondary. The school is not currently listed by Fraser Health as having COVID-19 exposures. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Four more Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows schools exposed to COVID-19

Cases at three public schools and Maple Ridge Christian

Born and raised in Maple Ridge, Ernie Daykin is still astonished at this community’s beauty. He recently captured this image of the snow covered peaks of the Golden Ears in the background, and cherry blossoms in the foreground. (Special to The News)
SHARE: View of Golden Ears from many different perspectives

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Spray paint was discovered at Hot Rocks. (Special to The News)
Popular Maple Ridge summer destination vandalized

Rocks discovered with spray paint along South Alouette

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

A total of $4,800 of stolen property was recovered and returned to businesses inside the mall

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
‘Prolific offender’ charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Kao Macaulay, 23, is accused of breaking into home on March 30

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read