After finding a few plastic crates in north Vietnam — police found unexpected visitors crammed into the boxes.
In Nam Dinh City, the police department tracked a suspicious shipment and confiscated its contents.
They never expected to be met with what they found.
Inside the cargo were 10 Asian small-clawed otters who, thanks to the police officers, were about to return to their natural habitat.
Sadly, it was believed that the otters were being sold into the illegal wildlife trade.
Currently, the otters are thankfully recovering at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) which is a local animal welfare organization that helps provide for animals that are taken to be sold on the black market (including online) in Asia.
The SVW team was very happy to help the otters.
“Our biggest otter rescue ever!” SVW posted to Facebook. “Never have we been taking care of so many otters in our quarantine enclosures.”
They currently are attempting to fund an expansion of the otter area so the animals can feel comfortable rehabilitating.
“The otters are doing well now,” a spokesperson for SVW, Mai Tran, shared with The Dodo.
The center’s goal is to make the otters strong enough so they will continue to have the instincts required to survive in the wild.
They are not sure of how long that will be.
“Hopefully we can release them back to the wild in the future,” Tran said.
Unfortunately, many other otters are not as lucky as these ten that found their way to the organization.
Much like slow lorises and baby apes — otters are wild animals who are known for being very, very adorable.
That being said, many folks want them as pets and due to this — those who are in need of making an extra buck, steal and sell the wild animals into the illegal pet trade.
It is considered one of the most complex issues in the global crime network.
And interestingly enough, pet trade is not the only thing that is a threat to wild otters.
“Otters are seriously threatened by illegal hunting, trade, habitat loss, and pollution,” SVW wrote. “Their population is vastly decreasing despite being a protected species.”
The 10 otters were thankfully rescued from a horrific tragedy and now — are able to live their lives.
They currently are able to play and meet the other rescued otters, who quite possibly has yet to see another otter that looks like them.
“The otter is a social animal,” Tran shared. “We rescued one otter since last year but could not release it individually into the wild. When the 10 otters get better, we will try to group that one with some of them and release them.”
If you have been moved by this story, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife encourages you to make a donation today.
Your donation will go towards helping other animals much like these otters — giving them a safe and secure spot to help rehabilitate.
Click here to donate now.
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