Check out the Otter Spotter Blog for more otter information!
This blog is managed by our Manager of Program Development, Emily Coon-Frisch, who also serves as the Education Advisor for the AZA's Otter Species Survival Plan (SSP).
There are four river otters at the Seneca Park Zoo, two females and two males. The two females are sisters named Heather and Sara. Both were born on 2003 and came here in 2009 from the Jacksonville Zoo. The two males, Skipper and Sailor, were born in 2007 and came to the Zoo in May 2012 from a private facility in Myrtle Beach, SC. We are currently in the process of introducing the males and females.
Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. North American river otters have been trapped for their highly-prized furs, resulting in a steep decrease in population since the 1800s. However, the otter is being restored to places where it is regionally threatened, resulting in an otter come back in many places. The Seneca Park Zoo is part of an initiative to reintroduce the river otter back to Western New York. Releases have taken place in Honeoye Lake and the Genesee River, among other locations. Laws protecting the otter from over-hunting and habitat destruction have been important U.S. conservation measures.
North American river otters reside throughout the U.S. and Canada along rivers, near streams and lakes bordered by woods with wetlands.
River otters are carnivorous creatures. They eat fish, crayfish, frogs, salamanders, snakes, clams, snails, turtles, birds, rodents and insects.