Animal Rescuers Who Lose Their Home In A Fire Find The Most Beautiful Way To Rebuild

For Kevin and Wendy Yates, nothing mattered as much as their true passion: caring for otters. They prided themselves on not just being educators for children, but for being conservationists as well.

Kevin and Wendy had been passionate about working with animals since they were just kids themselves. Their love for otters in particular was something that brought them together as a couple.
nurturedbynatureotters / instagram
However, neither Kevin nor Wendy anticipated that an unexpected tragedy would change how they felt about otters forever. In fact, it would be a serious turning point in their lives…
In 2003, the couple sadly lost their home in a dramatic wildfire. While they made it out alive, they were faced with rebuilding their home from scratch. In fact, they wouldn’t have to just rebuild their own house—they would have to rebuild a structure for their otters.
This gave Wendy and Kevin an amazing idea. In 2008, they finished their new home and opened it to the public, calling it Nurtured By Nature. As the name indicates, their home and business would be a place where people can reconnect with some of the world’s most wonderful animals.
When they lost their home, it was their fun-loving otters who bolstered their spirits. Kevin and Wendy decided that if the otters could help them get over their losses, surely the otters could help heal the rest of the community!
Even if you only have a passing interest in otters, that would likely change the minute you walked into the doors of Nurtured by Nature. Just look at these cute little critters playing inside a pumpkin and try not to grin!
People come from all across the country—and the world—for a chance to swim with the otters. While it’s easy to find ways of supporting the animals you love online, what this place offers is something that no other does in quite the same way.
From the looks of it, the otters love every single second of playing in the water with their human friends, too. It makes sense! Otters are known for being exceptionally outgoing and social, even with those outside their species.
The best thing about Nurtured by Nature isn’t just that you get to spend a day cuddling up with otters in their natural element, either. (Though, let’s be honest—that’s a pretty exceptional perk when push comes to shove.)
The really amazing part about visiting these otters is that by buying your ticket, you are donating to the conservation of otters and other species! So it’s more than just spending a day with cute animals; you’re ensuring their survival, too.
Otters aren’t just the only animals you can visit with at Nurtured by Nature, either! While the otters were the first animals that the Yateses began working with when they started out, they weren’t content to stop there once their operation expanded after the fire.

Since Kevin and Wendy are both such passionate animal activists, they also work to conserve fennec foxes, pacas, servals, two-toed sloths, lemurs, African crested porcupines, armadillos, and kangaroos, all of whom live at the site!
In addition to running Nurtured by Nature, Kevin and Wendy have been visiting schools with their animals to teach children about wildlife engagement since 1987. Reading about animals is one thing, but meeting them takes it to another level.
Can you imagine how excited those kids must be when Kevin and Wendy and their amazing assortment of adorable animals show up? Talk about an exciting assembly! Plus, meeting the animals face-to-face helps them realize that conservation isn’t just a concept.
Very few people out there are lucky enough to be able to make a job out of doing what they love to do. These folks have done that and more—they have given back to their community in an amazing way.
 Getting up for work on Monday morning is something that lots of people dread, but it’s probably different when you work with otters and help support your local community at the same time.

It’s amazing that Kevin and Wendy found a way to hang out with these cuties while helping those animals and their neighbors in the process. It just goes to show you all of the good that can come out of following your dreams!
What started out as a small project is really gaining momentum, too! Nurtured by Nature wasn’t on the map when it first began, but news of everything the Yateses do has spread—and they are constantly gaining new admirers.

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