well, were not sure of their names yet. But the two baby otters
are the latest addition to the Seminole Hard Rock.
Unable to decide what to name the pair
of otters, the Seminole Indian Tribe is opening up the naming process
to the public.
Suggestions will be accepted through June
17 and should be sent to email@example.com.
Upon hearing their foster moms voice,
the two baby otters dived into the water and made their way to her.
Emerging, they circled playfully between her legs.
On Wednesday, the pair of Asian small-clawed
otters moved from the home of their trainer, Giselle Hosein, into
their new digs at the Okalee Village at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel
& Casino in Hollywood.
Im completely attached to
them, but its important for their independence and development
to start living on their own, said Hosein, wildlife supervisor
for the Okalee Indian Village.
Their new home is an 800-square-foot enclosure
which mimics their natural habitat and includes 6,000 gallons of
water, river rocks and a night box to hide in.
The village bought the pair at 3 months
old from a private breeder in California, paying $7,500, of which
$5,000 came from donations and sponsorships, said Jennifer Ebo
Osceola, the general manager of the village.
Osceola said the Okalee Villages
purpose is to educate people about the lifestyle of the native Seminoles
and about wildlife and environmental conservation.
It was important to bring otters to the
village because they are one of the tribes six clan animals
the others being birds, bears, panthers, snakes and deer.
For the last three months, Hosein has
been their primary trainer and caregiver. Her house became their
home, as they lived with her and slept in a medium-sized dog crate
in her bedroom.
They have been the most rewarding
animal to train, she said. The emotional connection
you form with them is unlike that of other animals.
She likened raising them to raising a
newborn child, requiring feeding every few hours, cleaning, burping
This species, Aonyx cinerea, is not born
knowing how to swim and instead is taught how at about 6 weeks old
by the mother.
Hosein began teaching them to swim and
hold their heads under water in her bathtub and then slowly moved
them to deeper pools.
The otters have a silky coat of 80,000
hairs per square inch of their bodies, rendering their skin essentially
Otter John Jones, the
wildlife manager at the Okalee Indian Village, said the sibling
otters will be an exciting addition to the varied community of wildlife
at the village.
We can now let people experience
them upfront with just glass separating them, he said.
Otters can sense and understand human
emotions and vocal tones, which makes this species, in particular,
easiest to breed in captivity.
Theyre very emotional, but
theyll change from happy to angry in one second, he
said. Working with otters you will have holes in your
Though they will be brought inside at
night, the otters are quite comfortable in their new home, Hosein
said. Theyve also been given a number of toys to entertain
On my days off, Ill still
come in and say hi to them, she said. My kids are spoiled.