An international organization dedicated to otters cautioned the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) for releasing an otter cub back to the wild, insisting that the juvenile otter cannot survive on its own.
Grace Yoxon, director of International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF), a non-profit organization based in Scotland, in an email addressed to the PCSD on Monday, requested for the protocols set by PCSD in ensuring “best possible care” for rescued otters and “not [being] condemned to die”.
“If, for example, a human baby was found in a park it would not be taken to a housing area and “released” in the hope that it would find its mother or somehow survive on its own. A human would stand a better chance as someone would presumably take it somewhere safe. But this otter was taken somewhere believed to be safe and then this did not turn out to be the case,” Yoxon wrote PCSD.
This, after a juvenile Asian small-clawed otter was “turned over and released back to its natural habitat” by the PCSD staff on November 2.
Locally known as “dungon”, international organizations for otters had since been critical to care and environmental protocols by local officials, citing that otters are only found in Palawan which makes the population even more important.
The IOSF, which has ties with Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, opened its doors to PCSD for possible collaboration in setting up protocols for otter rescue, rehabilitation, and release in Palawan.
“If the system is such that otters would be taken to PCSD then all members of staff must know what the protocols are and ensure that the animal receives the best possible care and is not condemned to die in this way,” Yoxon said in an email to PCSD.
The PCSD has yet to issue a statement regarding the concern raised by the IOSF.