By Joe McFarlane
An animal rescue centre has helped Lazarus the rescued otter back on the road to recovery.
Keeping a video diary, Danelle Murray, 36, of the Owl Rescue Centre in South Africa, has tracked the little otter and his rehabilitation.
Rescued as a baby, little Lazarus the three-year-old Cape clawless otter has been spending his recent days with Danelle and Brendan in order to be rehabilitated with the aim of releasing him back into the wild.
And though the little critter didn’t have the easiest of starts to life, Danelle’s video diary shows that from the ashes, Lazarus has risen and is well on the way to recovery as he frolics in the grass and splashes around in a river with husband Brendan, 47.
Danelle said: “We are working on a six-month process for a ‘soft release’ to help Lazarus adapt into the wild.
“Lazarus was raised by another rehabilitation facility, but they didn’t have the resources and area for a successful release.
“They started working with us about two years ago and realising the time, research, expertise and effort that goes into our release projects, they had confidence in us to do right by Lazarus and therefore placed him in our care.
“We started the release process with Lazarus in mid-September. When he was first placed in our care, he was afraid to swim and wouldn’t enter deep waters. We slowly managed to desensitise him of his fears and now he spends most of his days swimming in the river.
“He forages on fresh Water Mussels and Crabs, but he will have to learn how to fish before he can be released from our care.
“His rehabilitation process is still in progress until he has been successfully released into the wild, knowing that he will be able to survive on his own and act like a wild raised otter.”
Along with Brendan, the pair founded the centre to help protect the conversation of wildlife in the local area.
Danielle said: “Otters are extremely intelligent creatures and we see daily changes and progress in Lazarus.
“This is one of the biggest rewards of wildlife rehabilitation, knowing that you are able to make a difference in the life of an Animal.
“Lazarus is getting a chance to live the life he was intended and being a part of this, working with him, is a great privilege. There are many challenges that are met along the way, but all is worth it in the end.”