The Karanambu Trust
Slide Show: Raising Orphan Giant Otters

Bel and Phillip, Karanambu's most recent orphaned otter cubs, were a handful as babies. They arrived at Karanambu in February 2010, each taken from different holts on the Rupununi. Diane immediately started them on milk, sliced up fish bits, and a round the clock schedule of cuddling, napping, feeding, playing, swimming, drying, cuddling, napping, and so on. At the time, Karanambu was also home to another orphan giant otter, Buddy. A young adult by then, he was a potential danger to the cubs and had to be taken care of separately. Buddy also needed special attention as he was going blind. He would soon be moved to the Miami Zoo. But until them, his routine needed to be separated from that of the two new cubs. Diane learned her lesson years ago that a resident male can be very aggressive to new arrivals. In addition to Karanambu staff and visiting veterinarian Dr. Stefy, Diane had special help from Kirsty Lee, an experienced otter keeper at the Chestnut Centre in England. The Centre is home to a giant otter pair and has long supported the Karanambu Trust with donations for orphan otter care. Fortunately, the Centre was able to spare Kirsty for 3 weeks, a critical time for both the babies, and for Buddy.