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How These Otters Help One Little Girl Forget About Her Illnesses


A 7-year-old with a life-threatening gastrointestinal disorder got a chance to forget about her health problems when she stepped into a pool for quality time with two friendly otters.

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Hannah Evans was able to play in a pool with the therapy otters Lilly and Poppy at the Nurtured by Nature Animal Sanctuary to help bring some joy to the young girl’s life.

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Evans was able to go to the sanctuary, which according to their Facebook page, “targets children in need of extra giggles and joy throughout Southern California and around the country.”

The otters have been trained by the facility to interact with children who have severe or terminal illnesses.

Kevin Yates, one of the founders of Nurtured by Nature, told CBS News: “The most important thing is to give them a positive day where they are free of thinking about maybe the pain or the illness or the treatment that they're going through. It’s super important to treat the psyche and to have a good outlook, especially when you’re in pain or you’re sick or scared.”

The young girl’s father, Paul, told CBS News that the experience is something she will never forget and said it gave his daughter's spirits a much-needed boost.

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“It was awesome, the hands on experience with the animals has just been great,” he said.

The nonprofit company has been helping children since 2008 and is located in Valley Center, California. 

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