About
Animal Facts
Common Name:
North American River Otter
Scientific Name:
Lontra canadensis
Behavior:
  • Social, they often live in groups including a mother and pups or small groups of all males.
  • Graceful swimmers, they can dive to 60 feet and often stay underwater four minutes.
  • Their playful manner helps hone hunting skills, strengthens bonds, and mark territory.
Diet:
Carnivore
Height:
8 in
Weight:
20 lb
Length:
3.33 ft
Life Span:
9 yrs
Gestation Period:
60 days
Number of Young:
2-4
Habitats:
  • Aquatic (freshwater)
Fun Facts:
  • They are often beneficial to game fish since otters regularly eat non-game fish, reducing competition.
  • Touch and body posture are often used in communication, along with a wide variety of vocal calls.
  • Sensitive whiskers help navigate murky water in search of food or obstacles.
Threats:
  • Habitat Loss
  • Poaching / Over Consumption
  • Pollution
Endangered Status
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

The development of zoo animal diets uses careful research and design to meet each species’ needs.  For otters, this means a diet of only fish.  Keepers and veterinarians closely watch body condition, behavior, and consumption of diet.  These observations may lead to adjustments to maintain the otters in prime health. 

Saving Species Plan Logo

This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.