An Otter World

The otters at Flamingo Gardens, a botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuary in Davie, have recently moved into a new expanded habitat and seem pretty thrilled about it. When I visited this week, it looked like an all-out otter party happening in there. I took a few pics but will likely return next month and take a few more.

Over at least 4-5 years, $235,737 has been raised for a project that includes "a larger pond, better viewing areas, a hurricane-proof night house and multiple areas for the otters to build dens."

Fast Eddie, a once-orphaned river otter who was deemed unable to survive in the wild after being rescued and hand-fed by humans, along with a one-eyed female otter named Patches, are part of an otter breeding program that began in 1989.

According to Flamingo Gardens, that program has so far produced 34 otters who have since been released into the wild or other sanctuary breeding programs.

While the otters currently at FG seem pretty thrilled about their new digs, the project isn't quite finished.

Flamingo Gardens is seeking another $15,000 to finish connecting the electric for the filtration systems, pumps and waterfalls, and to install fencing and cameras that will allow online viewers to watch newborn otters in their dens.

Those interested in donating, or learning more about the program, can visit FG's River Otter Habitat fundraising page.