Saturday, August 30, 2014

Otters 2 Weeks-Old-Baby Album

Rescued otter pups in Palawan
To look at them it's such an AWWWWW moment isn't it?
Well, don't try to care for them because you won't get
much sleep for two and a half months! Their puppy
formula with other things cost quite costly.
The otters have gotten so big that they are out of their cuddly phase, becoming more self sufficient and independent, which is what we want for them. Yet, I cannot but wax nostalgic upon seeing the photos of them when they were wee babies, squeaking and wriggling in a sack.

They had a very pungent odor I had never smelled before, and I was a bit taken aback at the first whiff. But upon casting my eyes on their little fluffiness, my heart strings tugged at me and won over my nose. They were so small they fit in my hand. Deaf and blind they were, just as puppy dogs or kittens are. They had the softest fur. It's almost indescribably soft. Like angel kisses. A comforting soft, like something I knew as a child and remembered suddenly, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Seeing them so defenseless, with paws and fur as soft as 
baby's breath, made my heart melt. Even though it was
a lot of work, seeing them thrive gave me such great joy.
They were cute, but they needed to be bottle fed every 2 to 3 hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for two and a half months!

All they did was look cute, sleep, then start squeaking when hungry, then sleep some more, and the last thing you wanted to do was to wake 3 hungry otters. This wasn't the cuddly phase yet! Juggling three bottles was no small task with each one squirming and squealing. They had to be toileted at every feeding, which meant wiping their genitals and butt to stimulate, well you know, peeing and pooing! Otters pee and poo at the same time and it's called  "spraint", which now I understand. They spray, squirt,  pee and a thick poo, the smell of which, I can't even begin to describe. Ugh. It wasn't a pleasant chore I can tell you.
How can one not love the sweet faces!
For two and a half months our assistant, Jhun Solis, took turns with me to stay up 24 hours a day in shifts to feed and toilet them! They couldn't see or hear us, but they could smell us when we got near and they would give that special sound to be fed. If you play the video below, you can hear them. We wrote down how much milk they took, how much they weighed etc.  Sleep was a stranger to us then. They blindly stumbled about squeaking when awake; clumsy little balls of fur. If we moved, they could smell the direction and would move towards us.

They were always touching each other in their sleep. For two and a half months this is what I saw when we weren't bottle feeding them. One on top of the other all akimbo! constantly moving, and crawling over one another in their sleep.
When they were full, they would simply stop drinking. Usually falling asleep into a stupor.
We had to be very careful when feeding them. Making sure our hands were clean. The otters are susceptible to dog and cat diseases, so all of our pets were vaccinated in order for them not to get anything to pass on to the pups.

The pups make very high pitched sounds, like bird chirps. They have at least 12 different sounds they make to communicate with one another.

Now that they are big, I look back upon this time with great affection, and looking at the photos again makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over again.

You can listen to the squeaky lil guys by playing this video. At this age they sound more like squeaky toys. Don't forget to like the video if you watch it on to spread awareness about the otters of Palawan. Most people don't even know we have otters in Palawan! Watch in HD for a clearer view of the cutest critters on earth, baby small clawed otters!

Please give a listen to this original song by composer/pianist Tony Pollard. 90% of the funds from this song will go to food for these otters and for their caretaker. Many thanks!

Please click here to go to the song and give it a listen. If you like it please buy it to help me support these otters.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Otter outing Aug-28-2014

For my 66th birthday, I wanted to take the otters out for a swim, but it just didn't work out. So today, the day after, we set off to their favorite cove. This is the first day after many jaunts to this cove that they swam much further out with no fear. Each time we take them out they get more confidence! The main diet of these otters are crabs, shellfish, mud skipper fish, snails, small frogs and the occasional small lizard.

Water is not the natural habitat for small clawed otters. They mainly live beside the water, like rivers, mangroves and marshes, but we cannot take them to the dense mangrove forests here since it is too dense to follow them in there.
Otter Omar under water! They can hold their breath up to 2 minutes now.
A video of them underwater in the mangroves.

Otter is holding a crab in his hands above the water and walking in the water with it.

Me and my daughter enjoying the water too.
Otter looking for crabs.
Under water, otters are like gymnasts! Or ballerinas!

Oscar got a crab!

Omar front, Oscar rear

Trying to hold on to the crab.

They come on the boat to be dried off!

After swimming the otters want to be dried of. After they have gotten all the towels wet, they go back in the water. Hence no more dry towels for the trip back home.
Take a virtual swim with the otters as they enjoy the first time they were bold enough to swim out to us in deeper waters without fear. They can hold their breath for over 3 minutes now. Please share this blog and video to raise awareness about the otters of Palawan. We cannot protect that which people know nothing about!

Please listen to this original song by composer/pianist/singer Tony Pollard on iTunes. If you buy it 99% of all funds will go to feeding the otters and for their caretaker. Many thanks. Click HERE to go to the iTunes link. You can also listen to it for free.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another Otterly Fun Day at the beach

The sea was like glass this morning, shiny and smooth. We headed to our favorite beach with the otters in their cage for their own good! They like to jump overboard! After swimming they came back on board the boat and had a fish snack while we ate our sandwiches.

You can view some really fun and heartwarming videos of these otters on my YouTube channel at
Smooth going this morning as we headed out for some family fun with the otters.
Yes, that's me, I am always filming the otters. They are just coming down from exploring the native pump boat. Curious creatures, otters are.
Our daughter swimming with the otters who were curious about the electric sea scooter.

The otters don't run off, as we are their surrogate family. Asian small clawed otters stay with their Alpha male and female parents until one of them dies. Only then does the otter family disperse.

Please listen to this original song by composer/pianist/singer Tony Pollard on iTunes. If you buy it 99% of all funds will go to feeding the otters and for their caretaker. Many thanks. Click HERE to go to the iTunes link. You can also listen to it for free

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Underwater Otters

We had the best time with the otters yesterday. We finally found a spot without those biting bugs in the waters of the mangroves. I had just as much fun as the otters did swimming. Teaching the otters to fend for themselves for their eventual release back into the wild.

Rescued otters swimming in mangrove cove.
Otters are so graceful when they swim.

The otters always have to try and grab the camera.

Please listen to this original song by composer/pianist/singer Tony Pollard on iTunes. If you buy it 99% of all funds will go to feeding the otters and for their caretaker. Many thanks. Click HERE to go to the iTunes link. You can also listen to it for free

 Original Song by Tony Pollard - Lady Blue
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