The Karanambu Trust
Slide Show: Rehabilitating Orphan Giant Otters

Karanambu's most recent orphans were a pair of unrelated giant otters, Bel and Philip. They arrived as tiny cubs at the start of 2010. Thanks to Diane and all who helped care for them--see the slideshow on raising otter cubs — they grew steadily. A year later, they were spending most of their time down at the river, returning to the compound to rest for the night. Their fishing skills improved steadily and, by June 2011, when this series of photos was taken, both were well on their way to reaching a healthy adult size. Both had also started to encounter wild otters. As in the past, not every interaction was positive. Otters, like wolves, live in family packs and can be aggressive to intruders. But these interactions are critical; they are the orphan's only chance for a life in the wild.

They will either be accepted by the leading male in a pack as juveniles, or, in Bel's case, as a potential mate — or not. Bel left in August, and Phillip in September 2011. Though we have not seen them since, we remain optimistic they survived. One thing is certain: Diane gave them a chance to be wild once again.