North American river otters get their energy from their very high metabolism, which requires that they eat a great deal during the day. Our otters eat a prepared meat diet and several types of fish. They also receive non-meat items for variety and enrichment.
River otters spend a significant portion of the day scent marking territory by urinating, defecating, scratching, and rubbing their scent glands on rocks and trees. Daily our animal care team can be seen removing replacing enrichment items such as tree branches to encourage this natural behavior.
River otters live in aquatic habitats such as freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes. Their long, agile bodies enable them to quickly twist, turn, roll and dive, and they are frequently seen sliding into the water or burrowing in the mud. Research has shown that river otters’ play activities help strengthen social bonds, improve hunting techniques, and scent mark territories. The Animal Care Team must regularly clean their pool to keep the water unpolluted and safe for swimming and playing.
Cast your vote for the river otter habitat when you donate to our Facebook campaign. Click on the link below. Funds received will support the Zoo’s sustainability campaign.