Otter Lives His Best Life After Sailors Save Him From Eagle Attack

An otter was rescued by a group of sailors while fleeing from an attacking eagle, and now, he gets hand-fed salmon every day and has become an internet star.

Otis the otter is being cared for by animal rescuer Pernilla Hägglund, who lives on Åland Islands located between Sweden and Finland.

The otter was rescued by a group of working sailors who saw him "swimming for his life" from an eagle 11 days ago. "They stopped the attack and waited for a mama otter to show up but no one came," Hägglund wrote in a viral TikTok video on her account @pernie.roos.

Hägglund told Newsweek that all signs suggest Otis was with his mother right up until the attack. "When Otis first arrived he was really tired and obviously confused. He pretty much slept through the first 24 hours with us," she said.

"His weight was good for his age so that indicates he's been with his mother up until the eagle started chasing him. The sailors that rescued him said he swam for his life and screamed like a baby."

Eagles are known to often eat sea otter pups when the adults dive into the water to gather food, unable to save their babies.

Otis the otter
Otis was saved by a group of sailors. Pernilla Hägglund

At such a tiny size, Otis was unable to be immediately released back into the wild as he would not be able to fend for himself.

"The rehabilitation plan is to get him to gain weight, which he already is, and in a few weeks he will move to a larger enclosure outside where he can swim. Then we will start to give him whole fish to eat and later on live fish so he learns how to be a wild otter," Hägglund, who has been voluntarily rescuing animals for over 10 years, told Newsweek.

"It's very important to us that all our animals go back to the wild. Many people on TikTok have shown concerns that I'm cuddling him but he needs it now when he is a baby to stimulate his social skills. This won't last very long as he will not have the same needs when he grows older and will get more independent, and it won't make his natural instincts go away. I've been in contact with experts as well so everything is under control."

Otis, now an adorable fluffy otter pup, will be released back into the wild in four to six months time. "We have a few options as of how he will be released, right now it's most likely he will go to a wildlife park (owned by my boyfriend's family) where there's a lake that he can live in for a while so that we can monitor him and make sure he is capable of living life in the wild and find and catch food," said Hägglund.

Otter pups are born blind and open their eyes at 40 days old. Their moms will teach them how to swim and walk, but they will stay near their mom and other offspring for a whole year. Even after the year is up, otters will still live together with their moms, according to reports.

Thanks to Otis' adorable qualities, internet users have had their hearts melted by the pup, as TikTok users rushed to express their jealousy of Hägglund.

"How does it feel to live my dream?" asked one user.

"Aaand, I would never be able to set him back in the wild," added another.

"Oh, I'll swap my grandchildren for him," vowed one grandmother in the comments, taken aback by the baby otter's story.

"I would sell my house, buy an otter costume and move to the wild with him," promised a TikTok viewer.

Update 08/16/22, 6:57 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include picture and video.

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