It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and even animals prove that they are capable of heartbreaking cruelty when they reject their own offspring. Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened to an adorable otter named Moses one day.
He may have lost his birth family, but that didn’t stop Moses from growing up to be confident and affectionate in his new adopted home in South Africa. Maybe a little too confident. See, the otter found himself in a pickle when he approached a well-known predator—and its reaction was shocking.
Things were off to a rough start for Moses, an African clawless otter, shortly after he was born. As sometimes happens in the wild, the pup was rejected and abandoned by his own family. Not only was that heartbreaking, but it was life-threatening as well.
When a police officer in South Africa stumbled upon the lost otter pup by a river in Bela-Bela, he quickly realized he needed help. The officer took pity on the poor pup, and he decided to keep an eye on him to see if his family might return. He waited three whole days…
Unfortunately, the baby otter’s family never showed up in that time. The officer decided he’d waited long enough to see if nature would correct itself, and he made a call to the only person who could help the little otter…
The officer called Annel Snyman, who ran Loebies Guest Farm and Predator Park in Bela-Bela. Annel had a long-held reputation for rescuing unique animals, like big cats, and taking care of them like pets. But could she help this otter?
Annel agreed to help, and with that, the officer brought Moses to the park. As soon as he arrived, Moses got busy making new friends! He met a lion cub and even some meerkats. But there was one new pal in particular who surprised everyone…
That animal was a spotted hyena! Even Annel was surprised at the bond the two forged not long after Moses made his debut at the park. The otter and the hyena spent a lot of time roaming the grounds together, and Annel believed this friendship was affecting Moses’s sense of self…
Considering how young Moses was when he was introduced to this unusual lifestyle, spending time with other species really changed his perception of the world. “Moses doesn’t see himself as an otter,” Annel claimed. “He thinks he’s part of the family of the lions and the hyenas.”
That actually made a lot of sense, since Moses was raised in the same house as them. However, even after his surrogate siblings grew too big to stay in the house, Moses still enjoyed visiting them regularly.
This wasn’t just a matter of fierce predators being kind to an animal that could’ve easily been their prey. These animals didn’t just co-exist; they actually seemed to enjoy spending time together!
Unlike the other residents of the park, who grew to be several times Moses’s size, the otter loved to play around indoors. Safe in his little guest house, Moses was free to roll and bounce as carefree as a kitten!
Moses’s journey back to health wasn’t a cakewalk, though. It took Annel quite a bit of research and experimentation. “I struggled to get the formulas to raise him, so I was bottle-feeding him every three hours.”
There were also some things that Moses needed to learn in order to be a functional adult otter, but he struggled without the help of his birth family. “While Moses is confident in the water now, this wasn’t always the case” Annel revealed.
Annel assumed that swimming skills would be instinctual for a young otter, but when she tried to take him into the water for the first time, he almost drowned! She soon learned that mother otters usually teach this skill to their pups.
With that in mind, Annel took it upon herself to teach Moses how to swim. She brought him to a small swimming pool “every four hours,” gradually introducing him to deeper waters until he was ready to visit the dam.
Similarly, while most otters who were raised in the wild prefered to keep to themselves, Moses became quite sociable! He especially enjoyed following Annel around during her daily chores.
Annel’s rounds became a part of Moses’ everyday routine. In fact, almost like his biblical namesake, Moses enjoyed helping Annel lead tour groups through her facility and all of the different enclosures!
These days, Moses is still living with Annel—he even sleeps in her bed! Even so, Annel doesn’t advise others to try to keep an otter as a pet of their own. “He can bite you, and it’s a wild animal still so you don’t know what he can do next,” she said.
Yet while it was impressive that Moses was so comfortable around Annel and humans in general, the most adorable thing about him had to be his relationship with his fellow animals around the park…
Moses went from being turned away from his own family to being the most popular critter at Loebies Guest Farm! He had plenty of food, shelter, and amazing friends. What more could a little otter possibly ask for?
What an incredible ending to Moses’s story! All hope seemed lost for the poor, orphaned otter pup until he found his way to the park in Bela-Bela. His new home and adoptive family would be a dream come true for just about any critter!
Who would’ve imagined that an otter could be friends with large predators like hyenas and lions? We can all learn a lesson from this friendly little guy!
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