Archive for November, 2008



North American River Otter

A curious otter presses against the exhibit glass to get a better view.


My friend Rojo the scarlet macaw, who is also native to South America, recently introduced me to some of his friends in the Children’s Enchanted Forest. Splish and Splash are North American river otters. They are six and half year old sisters that have lived at the Zoo since 2002. Wild river otters usually have a lifespan of around eight to nine years, while captive otters can live over 20 years.


At the Zoo, the girls eat meat and smelt twice a day. For treats they enjoy fruit, knucklebones, chicken, capelin, and dog biscuits. Wild otters will eat fish, small mammals, clams, crabs, and frogs. Splish and Splash are very curious and enjoy non-food treats like boxes, logs, feathers, leaf piles, and different scents. Like their relatives the sea otters, the girls will sometimes swim on their backs. Unlike sea otters, river otters spend 2/3 of their time on land. Splish and Splash like to take naps in a hollow log or under their limb pile.


Thanks to their soft, dense coats, Splish and Splash don’t mind the cold weather. They swim and play in their pool all year long. And it even has a crawl-through tunnel for Zoo visitors! The otters love watching the kids and vice versa. Please stop by the Zoo and visit my new pals!


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