River Otters

Lontra canadensis
Did you know?: 

Our River Otter, Slydell, is fond of "popsicles" (ice blocks with fruit or fish), especially in summer. In winter, he likes to play and slide in the snow.

At the EcoTarium

Visit our River Otters, Slydell and Daisy, in their habitat along the Meadow Path. Slydell was born in February 2007 in Slydell, Louisiana. He was hand-raised by the EcoTarium staff – they even taught him how to swim just like a young otter in the wild! When he was young, he liked to chase butterflies and to play with small buckets, sometimes swimming around with one on his head. Daisy was born in late January of 2017 at a zoo in Indiana.  She excels in her training session and quickly learned to voluntarily walk onto a scale and enter a crate which allows wildlife keepers to monitor her health without any stress! She loves to play and her favorite toys are ice treats and buoys.  

Slydell and Daisy are brought into their holding area approximately 15 minutes before the EcoTarium closes (or before dark during winter months). So be sure to visit the otter exhibit before 4:30 p.m. (before 4:00 p.m. from mid-November through February).

About River Otters

The North American River Otter lives in rivers, lakes, and wetlands all over New England. Otters make tunnels and dens alongside the water, which allows them to easily come and go from the water. They are mainly carnivorous, eating fish, amphibians, and birds, but will also eat aquatic plants. They use their sensitive whiskers to help feel their prey since it's difficult to smell and hear underwater.

River Otters are agile swimmers with long, smooth bodies, waterproof fur and webbed feet. They can close their nose and ears to keep water out and are capable of holding their breath for up to 8 minutes. They are often described as playful, and with good reason. They slide on muddy or icy hills, burrow in the snow and splash around in the water. Otters seem to enjoy playing, and it helps teach important survival skills to their young.