River otter sanctuary opens in Flamingo Gardens

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - Some adorable creatures are calling a new South Florida sanctuary home sweet home.

The River Otter Breed and Release Program officially opened its new North American habitat in Flamingo Gardens, Saturday.

Thirty-nine pups have been born in the sanctuary since 1989, one of the most successful programs in the world. “We’re actually one of the most prolific breeders of river otters in the nation,” said Michael Ruggieri, Director of Wildlife for Flamingo Gardens. “Right now we house about eight river otters, and we’ve been raising money for the last 10 years to build this new exhibit. We’re all really excited about the otters getting a new home, and they seem like they love it.”

The new habitat is twice as large as the old one, with an underwater viewing area, larger pond, several areas to build dens and a unique cypress tree slide.

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