Rescue Orphan Otters

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You can be there for these babies.

This is your chance to be part of a life-changing experience....this is your chance to help baby otters - so young that their eyes weren't even completely open when they arrived at Wild ARC! - grow into happy, healthy adults.

Your support will ensure Lady from Ladysmith, Cowby from Cowichan Bay and Piers from Piers Island get the specialized care they need.

Lady was orphaned after her mom was chased by a dog and dropped her.

Cowby was found covered with over a hundred ticks after his mom was scared off and left him orphaned!

Piers was found alone, dehydrated and calling for his mom, who could not be found.

Want to be there to release these otters back into the wild?

When you give more than $50 you'll be automatically entered for a chance to join Dr. Sara Dubois and Wild ARC staff next spring to release these otters.*

* No purchase necessary. To enter, you must comply with the eligibility criteria set out in the Contest Rules within the Contest Period. For complete contest rules, see Orphan Otter Rescue Contest Rules section.

Campaign Ended

Thank you for your support!

Raised C$17,000 out of C$20,000

Thank you!

Thank you everyone who helped raise $17,000 for three orphan otters - Lady, Cowby, and Piers. Anyone who donated $50 or more to help these wild patients was automatically entered for the chance to be there when the otters are released next spring. Congratulations to our lucky winner Kelly L. from Vancouver!

Kelly plans to attend the release with his wife Julia. They are both avid hikers and nature-lovers who are proud fur-parents to two adopted cats, Mimi and Never. Congratulations Kelly!

October 30 update: Bigger, better, healthy, happy

This is it!

You and animal-lovers like you have taught these otters to swim and how to enjoy all the foods they'll have in the wild.

This past month they have moved into their final space at Wild ARC. Next Spring they will be released back into the wild - will you be there?

The chance to be part of their release back into the wild ends Tuesday Oct 31 at 11:59pm... Have you told your friends and family?

October 23 update: Moss on a log

How exciting is moss on a log? For these baby otters, it's the coolest thing ever!

October 16 update: Mmmm! Fish!

What's better than cut up, little chunks of salmon? How about whole salmon!

October 9 update: It's raining, it's pouring...

And the otters love it! Playing in a pool is far more fun when the water is also coming from above!

Do you like playing in the rain?

October 2 update: Getting bigger

When Lady arrived (this past May) she was less than a kilogram in weight, but things have changed!

Today, thanks to the generosity of those who have supporter these baby otters, Lady is weighing in a full seven kilograms (over half way to her full weight of ten kilos)!

September Updates

Week of September 25 update: food gets challenging, part 3

September is all about trying new things. And the newest thing on the menu for these three growing babies is...octopus.

Extra chewy and super slippery, these otters have to work for their meal.

Week of September 18 update: food gets challenging, part 2

Food has officially become a challenge for the baby otters!

Opening mussels and barnacles isn't easy, but these skills are critical for the otters' survival once they are released into the wild.


Week of September 11 update: growing up and getting bigger

As you may know, these orphaned otters are growing like weeds - of course they are cute weeds.

And like any growing individual, they are beginning to physically mature. Their faces are becoming more adult-like and they are getting closer to being full-sized. However, that doesn't mean they are ready for life on their own. They still need love, care and to be taught how to survive.


Week of September 4 update: Food gets challenging, part 1

They've already proven their love of salmon, but otters eat more than fish in the wild. This past week these babies were introduced to something with a bit of a challenge...prawns!

To add to the challenge Wild ARC staff put the prawns on strings so the babies had to work for their meal. Needless to say, everyone enjoyed the latest addition to the menu!

August updates

Week of August 28 update: Bigger is better

Last week was an exciting week for Lady, Cowby, and Piers.

When another patient at Wild ARC finally went back home to the wild, the space next to these babies opened up. Staff and volunteers knew this was great news for the babies as they cleaned and set up the enclosure. 

Once it was ready they opened the gate between the two spaces, and needless to say, these curious babies were quick to check things out:

And if definitely didn't take them long to find their brand new pool!

Week of August 21 update: learning to dig

These babies are constantly learning how to otter. This week's lesson was a fun (and messy) one: digging!

Week of August 14 update: Seaweed!

When you think of otters, we bet you think of them playing in and among seaweed. For these babies, life in the care of Wild ARC means that they have to be introduced to things they'll regularly see in the wild, including seaweed! 

This past week that was the excitement for these otters. Check them out exploring seaweed for the first time!


Week of August 8 Update: Who doesn't enjoy sliding?

Otters love playing and exploring. The orphaned otters at Wild ARC are no exception!

July updates

Week of July 31 Update: Enriching lives

Keeping these babies learning keeps Wild ARC staff on their toes.

The selection of enrichment items our team offers the otters depends on a number of things. The biggest challenge is to come up with new ideas! The best way to do so is by looking at the behaviours river otters perform in the wild.

Since they are raised to be released back into the wild, we aim to replicate or simulate those behaviours. Providing them with enrichment items dedicated to encouraging certain activities allows us to give them the opportunity to build crucial skills without having to teach them or interact with them.

Enrichment is also used to expose them to natural elements they will encounter once back into the wild. For example, given that otters in this area are coastal river otters, it is important for them to recognize what would be found in an intertidal ecosystem, where they will be looking for food. Seaweed, shellfish, sand or fresh soil, are all examples of what they will be exposed to while in our care.


Food can also be offered in puzzle boxes to make it a bit more challenging for them to access it. It helps develop their problem solving skills while keeping them occupied and stimulated. As they grow up, an enrichment schedule will be used to ensure that they get a diversity of items on a regular basis.

Week of July 25 Update: Focus on food

Remember being a kid and eating everything in sight? That's where these baby otters are in life!

Cowby and Lady barely drink any forumla at this point and now even Piers is starting to wean himself off. He has developed a taste for salmon too!

With all the exercising, snacks are essential. Each of them now eat over three kilograms of fish and meat a day! They are also much more active and spend less and less time in the dens. Keeping them occupied and stimulated will now become most important to ensure that they build the skills they need to become top predators and thrive in the wild.


Week of July 17 Update: All together now

The trio are best friends now and have had some exciting developments to their lives.

Their enclosure has increased in size just as they continue to grow. They now have access to a shallow, but significantly larger pool.

To reach the pool, they need to walk up a ramp and down another. Cowby and Lady were the first to venture up, but not quite brave enough to slide over to the other side - although it didn't take long to pluck up their nerve. The ramp is nonetheless a big hit to be used as a slide and is Cowby’s new favorite activity!

As for Piers, he is still apprehensive and cautious while exploring his surroundings, but he has two good guides.

Week of July 12 update: Pool party!

Lady, Cowby and Piers continue to grow quickly and remain as curious as ever. Their favourite thing? Playing in the pool of course!

For otter pups, mum sometimes has to encourage them to go in the water. It was certainly the case for Cowby. While Lady was swimming around the small pool, very comfortable in the water, Cowby attempted to immediately get out. After some encouragement, he stayed and swam for a few minutes before jumping out of the pool.

Lady stayed in the pool until it was time to get dried up. Up until last week, they had supervised pool sessions every day. Then they were moved to a larger space where a pool can be accessed at any time. They jump in and out as they please and Cowby now enjoys the water a lot more! 

Week of July 6 update: Meet Piers! The newest baby otter!

Recently Lady and Cowby were joined by Piers from Piers Island.

It didn't take long for this little boy to settle in with his new adopted siblings.

June updates

Week of June 26 Update!

Marguerite, a Wildlife Rehabilitator at Wild ARC, is very efficient with what she does as she doesn’t want to spend any more time with the these social young otters who can get habituated to human quickly. 

She feeds Lady with the bottle while tidying up the pen and hustling Cowby away from her shoes when he becomes a bit too curious.  She checks on the fish that has recently been offered to Cowby and again has to keep him off her shoes.  She tries to distract him with the stuffed animal he is provided with for enrichment.  Lady takes well to the bottle and before you know it she has finished the entire thing.  Now it is Cowby’s turn. 

Christina, Senior Wildlife Rehabilitator, shares why it's important to suit up:


Week of June 9 Update - Cowby and Lady eat together

Cowby and Lady are growing quickly and both are now enjoying solid food - specifically fresh salmon!

They are still on formula and each consume 600ml per day. Each bucket (photo below) costs $300 and are specially ordered from an American company that ensures that this milk replacement will meet the fat/protein/vitamin content that baby otters get from mom’s milk.

 Week of June 4 update - Trying solid food for the first time

In the past week, Lady and Cowby have quickly progressed. Both have their eyes are now open, they are exploring their new temporary habitat together, and they are trying solid food!

Here's Lady giving fish a go for the first time.  

May updates

May 12 - Lady from Ladysmith enjoying her bottle.

May 28 - Lady and Cowby meeting for the first time.

Lady and Cowby

Orphan Otter Rescue Contest Rules

Donate $50 or more to be automatically be entered in a chance to attend the exclusive release of these otters back in to the wild. 

Full rules & details here.

Contest entry form here.


Birthe L.
Victoria, BC, Canada
donated: C$1,000
Brian B.
Burnaby, BC, Canada
donated: C$300
Marie B.
Lacombe, AB, Canada
donated: C$300
Paris F.
Victoria, BC, Canada
donated: C$257
Monica R.
Victoria, BC, Canada
donated: C$250
murray B.
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
donated: C$250
Raymond A.
donated: C$210
Anna F.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
donated: C$200
donated: C$200
Nita S.
Brossard, QC, Canada
donated: C$200
Roanne P.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
donated: C$200
donated: C$200
Norma C.
Burnaby, BC, Canada
donated: C$200
Sandra M.
Port Moody, BC, Canada
donated: C$200
donated: C$200
Terry D.
Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
ying C.
West Vancouver, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Leilani M.
Delta, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
ataleno S.
Saanichton, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
J Tracy F.
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Louise R.
Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Rayne M.
North Vancouver, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Alexandra B.
Victoria, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Keri M.
Delta, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Karen L M.
Richmond, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
White Rock, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Nancy B.
Sooke, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Darlene L.
Victoria, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
david L.
Victoria, BC, Canada
donated: C$150
Nur Syahidah I.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
donated: C$150

All Donors
Raymond A.

User Comments

Debbie M.
1 year, 8 months ago

He loved the otters

Ann H.
1 year, 8 months ago

Thank you for all your work in helping these babies!

Laura K.
1 year, 8 months ago


Add comment See all 36 comments

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