I remember when the river otters first arrived. They seemed so small. Their 4 pound limber bodies were covered in dense water proof fur yet they were afraid of the water. It wasn’t long before that changed. An otter rehabber suggested that I wear rubber boots with them. I told her “I didn’t mind getting wet”. She said “It will decrease the number of stitches from their bites on your ankles”. They have punctured several holes in my husbands hip waders that are now dangerously too short. At 30 pounds they stand over 3 feet tall. They are ready to be on their own! There are so many emotions involved in this release! Glad we never had to take anyone for stitches. Lucky we stopped their escapes right before they were successful. Frustrated their enclosure will never be the same until it is repaired. Yet the joy they brought us with their antics and energy will be missed! I am sure the volunteers, interns and staff will always remember the year we were lucky enough to be part of their first steps or swims towards freedom. Proud, Lucky and Relieved to have them free!