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Otter pup learns to fish
CWRC, December 13, 2013: The male small-clawed otter pup being hand-reared at the IFAW-WTI run Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) has begun fishing successfully, paving way for its planned rehabilitation back to the wild.

“The smallest mammal at our centre is growing up fast,” said Dr Rathin Barman, Deputy Director and CWRC-In-Charge, WTI. “We made a day enclosure for the pup comprising a small pond with a depth gradient of four to eight inches, and an adjacent covered ‘den’ was attached to the pond imitating the otter’s natural living conditions.” The enclosure is covered in nets from all sides for the pup’s safety.

Photo by: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee/IFAW-WTI
The pup spends its days in the enclosure, while at night it is housed in the nursery. It is still being bottle-fed, but live prey is also being provided to allow it to hone its fishing skills.

“The otter was apprehensive of the water in the beginning, but has eventually come around to its nature. It is quite comfortable in the water now, and is more active when there is live fish in the pond,” said Dr Anjan Talukdar, IFAW-WTI veterinarian.

Photo by: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee/IFAW-WTI

The pup was rescued with two of its siblings, earlier this year from the fringes of Kaziranga National Park. They were found floating on a hyacinth leaf. Unable to locate the mother, the pups were admitted to CWRC. Two of them succumbed soon after rescue.

Read about the otters' rescue here.
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