Utility workers rescued a starving baby otter

Twitter: Salt River Project

Three utility workers in Phoenix, Arizona discovered a baby otter in a canal, starving and covered in fleas. They rescued it, and the otter has since recovered and been released into a wildlife preserve. Are you crying yet? No? Just me? Okay.

The utility workers spotted something floating in the unused canal and quickly realized it was alive. “My operator noticed something floating in the canal and he turned and hollered, ‘hey, check that out. What is that,'” Craig Boggs, a carpenter with the Salt River Project, told local Arizona news channel KPNX-TV.

The tiny otter appeared to be fighting for its life, and the men instantly jumped in to help. “He would go under water and come back up and fight a little bit more. He was calling for his momma, we assumed,” Boggs told KPNX-TV. “It would go back under water and fight and come back up. He was about to give up. He was pretty exhausted.”

It took several tries, but Boggs and his coworkers finally pulled the baby otter to safety. Once they got the otter on dry land, they realized it was in serious danger and called animal control. The otter pup was transferred to the Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Center.

A vet examined the otter, who was dehydrated, starving and severely anemic due to the fleas. Luckily, the little otter was in good hands and the veterinarians nursed it back to health before releasing it into the Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona on April 26.

“Just one of nature’s thing,” Boggs said. “You can’t let it go. I mean, if you can save it. It’s the right thing to do. I mean, didn’t want to let the little fella die on it’s own. It’s not right.”

According to the Wildlife Center, it costs almost $5,000 to rehabilitate a sick animal. In just the last month, the Game and Fish department says it has rescued a baby deer, an otter and a bobcat.  In order to continue caring for these animals, they have started a text campaign to donate to the department’s Wildlife Center. If you’d like to help out the animals, text CRITTER to 41444.

To see a video of the rescued baby otter (looking too cute for words, obviously), keep scrolling:



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Jessica Suss
Current high-school English teacher, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast moonlighting as a writer.

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