Otters are one of the most beloved animals at the zoo. Who can resist their cute, playful nature? If you’ve ever had the chance to pet an otter, you know just how soft and silky their fur is. In this blog post, we’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to have an encounter with these furry creatures. You’ll learn all about their diet, behavior, and more!
Otter Encounter – What you need to know
Before you meet an otter, there are a few things you should know. Otters are very playful creatures. They love to swim and dive in shallow waters although there are records of sea otters diving as deep as 100 meters. They are semi-aquatic animals, and they are well adapted to life on both land and in water, like rivers, streams, freshwater wetlands, and the sea. There are 13 types of otters found all over the world–from Europe to Asia and North America. You can identify two main types: river and sea otters, each with its unique characteristics.
River otters are much smaller than those of the sea. While male river otters can reach a maximum size of around 30 pounds, male sea otters can weigh up to 90 pounds or more. Sea otters also have denser fur than the river otters, who have short, coarse hair. While river otters swim with their belly down, keeping the majority of their body submerged below the water, sea otters like to float on their backs. Sea otters typically give birth to only one pup while river otters have two to three pups per litter.
Petting an Otter – Can I touch an otter?
If you are thinking of touching an otter, always remember that they are not pets. Otters are one of the most adorable animals on earth, but don’t let their cuteness fool you. They have a very strong bite and they fight back when they feel threatened or confronted by another creature.
One of the best things about otters at wildlife parks is that they tend to be interactive creatures. They love to play and will often approach zoo visitors to say hello. When you approach them, be sure to go slowly at first. Once you’ve made friends with an otter, you can even try feeding them. Click here and take a little sneak peek into an otter meet and greet experience.
Feeding and Otter – what do otters eat?
So what do otters eat? In the wild, their diet consists mainly of fish. However, at the zoo, they are fed a variety of foods including seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Otters can eat up to 30% of their total body weight each day, that could mean as much as 25 pounds of food daily!
Meeting an Otter at Tanganyika Wildlife Park
At Tanganyika Wildlife Park you will have the chance to meet three Asian Small-Clawed Otters brothers. Shrimp, Wonton, and Wasabi were born in 2019, to parents Audrey and Meiko.
Unfortunately, Asian Small-Clawed Otters are being threatened by several things, including poaching for their fur, loss, and destruction of their natural habitat, and climate change. But there’s still hope! Conservation efforts are underway to help protect these sweet, furry creatures.
Shrimp, Wonton, and Wasabi live at Tanganyika´s Trouble Makers Cove, among a colony of African penguins and an albino alligator named Luna. At their exhibit, they like to swim in their pool, play, learn tricks, and get trained by the keepers.
Meeting the otters at Tanganyika is both educational and fun and a great way to learn about the natural world. A keeper will always be ready to answer all your otter-related questions, while you interact with them, assist in a training session, play with their favorite toys, and get your photo taken with them. If you’re lucky, you might even get the chance to pet one!
If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop by and say hello to our furry friends at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. They’ll put on a show for you that you won’t forget! And if you can’t make it in person, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. You can watch all the otter cuteness right here on our website.