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Students watch feeding time at WNC Nature Center

Two of the most popular animals at the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wncnaturecenter.com/Home.aspx" target="_blank">Western North Carolina Nature Center</a>&nbsp;are Obi-Wan and Olive. And, like all the animals at the center, they have a story to tell. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Two of the most popular animals at the Western North Carolina Nature Center are otters Obi-Wan and Olive. And, like all the animals at the center, they have a story.

In today's Never Stop Learning, we begin with Olive's adventure.

"We don't know what happened to her mama, but we do know as a baby otter she somehow came to be under the care of a human family, and Olive very quickly became what we call imprinted or humanized," education specialist Lauren Pyle said.

That means Olive can never be returned to the wild. And neither can her partner, Obi-Wan.

As a matter of fact, none of the animals at the Nature Center could survive on their own. At the center, they are protected and can be seen by thousands of people who pass through the gates every year, which is a great opportunity because, in the wild, it's rare to see river otters because they are so shy.

"So, all of our animals have a story of how they came to be with us," Pyle said. "And for the vast majority of them, we can't just release them. They couldn't be free and go and take care of themselves and act like they should act to stay safe and take care of themselves and everything in the wild. So that's why they are here with us."

Obi-Wan was originally brought to the center as a potential breeding partner for Olive, but that didn't work out.

You can watch the otters eat at the Nature Center. They are served fresh trout about 11:30 a.m. every day.

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