(March 1991-January 2005)
Little Mama died on January 31, 2005, two months short of her 14th birthday. Three weeks previously, she somehow got snared in some fishing line that formed a tight noose around her neck, and this set in motion a sequence of events that ultimately led to her death.
She was my dear little girl, and I will miss her greatly. So will thousands of others who met Mom during her extraordinarily long life. She was a sweet, gentle creature, and a dignified ambassador of her species. No one who met Little Mama could ever possibly forget her.
As a 1-year-old (above), Little Mama (who I then called "Orangelip") was the only hope for the continuation of her lineage after the debacle of July, 1992. Back then, I did not have high hopes for her survival. As usual, though, I was proven wrong. Little Mama proved to be the ultimate survivor. At the time of her death, she was the oldest free-ranging North American otter ever documented.
Now it is up to Scoots to continue the lineage. Once again, I am not optimistic. I genuinely fear this population is on a path to extinction. I never imagined this could happen, but it is now a very distinct possibility. I can only hope that Scoots proves me wrong yet again...
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