VIDEO: Little lost otters make it up to Hiawatha before their rescue

Remember the river otters we mentioned last night – including a pair seen making their way up Fairmount Ravine? They apparently kept going, and by morning were spotted by startled neighbors on the east side of Hiawatha Community Center. First we heard from Jennifer – then, Andrea sent the photos, video, and report:

Found these pair of cuties hanging out on Forest Ave SW by Hiawatha Playfield this morning – must have strayed too far from Mom in their adventures up from the water. Animal Control came to get them and bring them to the wildlife center in Lynnwood to be properly relocated. Thanks to all the neighbors who helped divert traffic while these little guys decided to camp out in the road!

We confirmed with Seattle Animal Shelter executive director Ann Graves that SAS Officer Cantu picked up the otters and took them to PAWS – we have an inquiry out to them as to what happens next, but probably won’t hear back until Monday.

SAS doesn’t always step into wildlife situations; Graves explains that “we do not handle ‘nuisance’ wildlife but we do respond to calls which are considered ‘rescue/assist’ situations.”

SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Laura Follis from PAWS responded to our inquiry with some early info, and we’ll be pursuing more Monday. She says the otters are a female and a male, “approximately 10 to 12 weeks old. They have no obvious injuries but both are very thin so obviously orphaned. They are eating fish on their own. The male had nasal discharge that is suspicious of pneumonia and they are very susceptible to it so is going to be on a course of antibiotics. They love their pool.”

19 Replies to "VIDEO: Little lost otters make it up to Hiawatha before their rescue"

  • admiral res May 18, 2018 (9:31 pm)

    They really otter know better.

    Just think how much fun they’d have had if the wading pool was open!

  • J May 18, 2018 (10:09 pm)

    They are really cute. Sad their mama won’t see them again

  • Jim May 19, 2018 (6:22 am)

    What’s the logic of taking them up to Lynwood instead of just back down to the local water they came from so they stand a chance of  re-uniting with mama?

  • WS-Nativ May 19, 2018 (6:56 am)

    At least they still have each otter… 

  • Joan May 19, 2018 (8:56 am)

    Sad that they are separated from their mom.

  • Lynn Shimamoto May 19, 2018 (9:20 am)

    This is the season for increased river otter activity and Seal Sitters has received many reports.  Here is our advice:

    For orphaned pups, call Animal Control at (206)386-7387, press “2.”  They will respond ASAP for a very young animal.

    For injured or sick animal, call PAWS Wildlife at (425)412-4040. 

    For general information about otters and advice on nuisance animals, see WDFW website

    For suspected harassment or suspicious death, call WDFW Office of Law Enforcement at 1-877-933-9847.  You can also file a report online.

    For observed harassment or illegal activity, call 911.

  • Sue Luke May 19, 2018 (9:25 am)

    Thanks so much for sharing the video! Those sweet little guys have made my day. A bit sad, though, for Mom and kids both.

  • annika May 19, 2018 (9:41 am)

    Properly relocated?  The only right thing to do is to bring these guys back to Marine Drive where they had been sighted before!  Can anyone living in that area confirm a location where the mother has been seen?

  • heartless May 19, 2018 (9:52 am)

    Otterly delightful.

    Just when one starts to get bogged down with arguments about politics and housing and traffic (sort of the trifecta, I guess) there are reminders like this that we live in a wonderful place.

    (I do wish they had a chance to reunite with their mother though)

  • waikikigirl May 19, 2018 (4:03 pm)

    As Lynn Shimamoto states injured go to Paws, so why did these two go to Paws, they weren’t injured were they?

    And I agree with Jim and others why were they not taken back down to the water area they more than likely came from, there they could had more than likely reunited with the Mom by scent I would assume?

  • Marianne May 19, 2018 (5:24 pm)

    Thank you to the people who worked to get these guys to PAWS.  Yes, it would be great if they could be with their mother, but I have to wonder where she is and if something happened to her.  The pups are safe.

    • Jethro Marx May 20, 2018 (1:49 pm)

      A coolly anthropomorphic assessment; they aren’t meant to be safe, they are meant to live in the wild, as domesticated as that may be considering their particular habitat in an urban environment. By “rescuing” such animals we only ensure that they will never be able to coexist with us unmolested. Shall we keep pigeons safe from raptors who wish to feed upon them? Are we thinking of what benefits the wildlife here, or our own rather fuzzy notions of safety?

      • Marianne May 20, 2018 (8:24 pm)

        and if they are orphaned?

        • WSB May 20, 2018 (8:39 pm)

          Which they were, according to a reply I got from PAWS today – I’m hoping for a bit more details for a separate story tomorrow but in short for now, PAWS tells us they were very thin, clearly orphaned, but are already responding well, eating fish, etc. I’ll add the short response above for now. – Tracy

        • Jethro Marx May 20, 2018 (9:32 pm)

          It seems harsh but if their mother dies they either die or live without a mother, because that’s the lot in life for a wild animal. It’s not fair, but wild animals know better than to have an expectation of fairness. I agree, they are fn adorable, but treating animals based on their apparent snuggle-worthiness is morally ambiguous to say the least.

           Obviously, tooling around Hiawatha they were likely to meet an untimely end under a car tire, but maybe not. It’s a complex issue, and even the wise cannot see all ends. Maybe they were about to slide down into that greenway (Fairmount Ravine, maybe?) that goes all the way to Smith cove and swim up the Duwamish. As to that, we’ll never know, but we do know that human interaction with wild animals rarely turns out well for the animals. I will tell you it is just about impossible that these particular otters will ever get to swim in a river again.

  • S Paine May 20, 2018 (11:00 pm)

    PAWS does very good work with wildlife. I hope there’s a follow up on this story.

  • waikikigirl May 21, 2018 (5:02 am)

    Yes I know PAWS is a very good agency and it was just my “motherly” instinct (even tho I have no kids) and love for animals to want them back with their mom.

    WSB thanks for the update, it looks like they’ll be just fine!    

  • Lynn May 21, 2018 (2:59 pm)

    Sort of related to otters and seals in the area, can we have more signs put up to inform beachgoers dogs are not allowed on beaches here? No one enforces it and you see everyone letting their dog off leash on the beaches. I’m just concerned it will deter wildlife from coming to the beach. 

  • Yu Shan and Bill Sheard May 21, 2018 (9:17 pm)

    My husband spotted one a few days ago, and another sighting just up on Jacobsen!  

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