Oliver Otter297 (002)Downtown Aquarium is thrilled to announce that the welcoming of Oliver, a new otter pup, to its variety of animals.  He joins fuzzy friends, Emmet and Slater, who are long-time residents of the exhibit in Denver. 

Earlier this month, a baby North American river otter approached a patron at a gas station in Tampa, FL who immediately rescued the frantic pup.  He was then transferred to a cooperating local partner of the veterinarian, Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife, who has been taking care of the otter with hopes of finding a promising home for him.  During this time, it was made clear that the otter had become imprinted on humans, thus making it difficult and dangerous to release the animal into the wild without increasing its risk of injury or death.

“I have raised many otters in my 35 years and I knew this little boy was special right from start,” said Kris Porter, permitted rehabilitator of Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife.  “Though it would have been ideal for him to be released in the Florida environment, I couldn’t have found a more spectacular home for an orphan that will always hold a place in my heart.  I truly know he will be loved and be an incredible ambassador for his species; I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

After careful consideration and research, Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife has found a forever home for the otter pup at Downtown Aquarium.  Downtown Aquarium is an AZA-accredited facility, which holds the property to the highest of industry standards, and boasts a beautiful habitat that is perfectly suitable for this new otter.  Not to mention, the property already has two otters in their existing exhibit so he will be welcomed with open arms.Oliver Otter208

Oliver began his trek from Tampa through Memphis this last week aboard a FedEx jet with Porter.  Not your average passenger, when this story was made known, FedEx gladly offered to provide the necessary resources and expertise to safely transport Oliver to his new home in Denver.

“FedEx is pleased to help the Owl’s Nest Sanctuary safely move Oliver from Tampa to his new home at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver.” said Neil Gibson, Vice President Corporate Communications, FedEx Services.  “This FedEx Cares shipment is part of our ‘Delivering for Good’ initiative to use our network to make important connections in our communities.”

Since Oliver is so accustomed to humans, the staff at Downtown Aquarium will continue to work hands on with him.  Through a positive-based training program, the Downtown Aquarium hopes to allow guests to interact with him while learning about the river otters and what they can do at home to protect this threatened species.

“Downtown Aquarium is proud to be the new home of this beautiful animal,” said Jim Prappas, Director of Animal Husbandry for Landry’s, Inc.  “Facilities like ours take pride in supporting conservation of wildlife through working with facilities like Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife so we can give animals like Oliver a second chance to live out their lives and be ambassadors to their species.”

By Alison