North American river otter in exhibit

North American River Otter

Scientific Name
Lontra canadensis
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Range
Canada and the United States
Habitat
Rivers, lakes, and wetlands
Estimated Wild Population
n/a
North American river otter in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

North American river otters have long, streamlined bodies that help them move easily through the water, propelled by their webbed feet. Their brown waterproof fur helps them retain heat. These otters feed on fish, crayfish, insects, turtles, frogs, and other water animals. They live alone or in family groups consisting of a female and her offspring. Females retreat to dens to give birth to their young, called kits, which take to the water after only two months.

Did You Know?

North American river otters have long, sensory whiskers that can detect prey in cloudy water.

These social mammals play hide and seek, slide down slopes, and use their paws to juggle.

They can hold their breath underwater for up to eight minutes.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.

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