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North American River Otter

Lutra canadensis

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Lutra canadensis
Class: Mammal
Weight: 10 to 33 pounds
Life span: 10 to 15 years
Conservation status: Least concern
Number of offspring: 1 to 3 pups at a time

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About

I LIVE IN NORTH AMERICA

The North American river otter throughout the majority of the United States, ranging from the Rio Grande in the southern United States up to the state of Alaska. They tends to live in aquatic areas such as rivers, lakes, and marshes.


I AM AN OMNIVORE

While the bulk of their diets consists of aquatic organisms like turtles, amphibians, and fish, North American river otters will also consume a range of aquatic plants on occasion.


NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTERS ARE SOCIAL

North American river otters with often either live alone or in pairs. However, otters are known for their playful nature and will spend much of their time socializing with other otters.


CLEAN AS A WHISTLE

North American river otters, as well as other otter species, are known for their cleanliness. Otters have dense fur that helps repel water, but they will spend a significant amount of time throughout the day grooming their fur.


HELPING THE NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTER IN THE WILD

The North American river otters at the Zoo are enrolled in the Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSP is a program implemented by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to help ensure a genetically viable population exists.


I AM IMPORTANT TO MY ECOSYSTEM

North American river otters are top predators in their environments for both other animal species as well as aquatic vegetation. They play a very important role in bringing about balance within their ecosystem.


Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

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