PANAMA CITY BEACH - Zoo World staff members are preparing a young river otter for his return to the wild.
A Thomas Drive business recently called Zoo World, reporting that the otter appeared to have been orphaned by its mother.
The staff conferred with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and they decided Zoo World would nurse the otter back to health. They've been bottle feeding him day and night and monitoring him constantly.
"He's starting to swim right now. You do actually, believe it or not, have to teach an aquatic animal how to swim and he still nurses six times a day. That will very soon start going down and he'll start chewing on things. He'll also have to be taught how to fish. So, it doesn't always come natural," said Stephanie Willard-Sinnet of Zoo World.
Friday morning Zoo World is sending the otter to a wildlife rehabilitation center where he will grow up with others otters about his age.
Once he's learned catch fish and swim well, he'll be released back into the wild.