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Animals

Cooper

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Cooper



North American River Otter

Male
Diet: Capelin, Lake Smelt, Feline Diet and Carrots
Stranding Date: 7/21/2001
On July 21, 2001, CMA rescued a young male otter found in a private citizen's garage in St. Petersburg, Florida. The young otter was named "Cooper" after longtime CMA supporters Tom and Sarah Cooper.

Cooper was severely dehydrated and emaciated at the time of his rescue. An extensive physical revealed more serious injuries. Cooper had sustained abrasions and abscesses along his back, worn footpads and nails and partial paralysis in his rear legs. It was speculated he had been hit by a motor vehicle. Throughout his rehabilitation process, he regained some mobility in his hind legs. He has permanent damage to his vertebra, which prevents him from walking properly, so he did not make a good candidate for release. Without being able to move around efficiently, he would have become an easy target for predators, such as coyotes, bobcats and alligators.

Today Cooper is doing well and is able to move around a habitat that has been modified to meet his needs. He seems to enjoy rubbing on his blankets and spending time arranging them, as he would have done in the wild to arrange grass or leaves. The Marine Mammal Department has implemented a program that will allow the trainers to examine Cooper daily as well as provide exercise and stimulation.

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