Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth, Minnesota

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Animals - Polar Shores

River Otter
Lutra canadensis (also known as Lontra canadensis)
Range: Throughout the contiguous 48 states, Canada, and Alaska.
Habitat: Found only near lakes and streams, and near some salt water in some coastal areas.
Diet: Crayfish, tadpoles, frogs, and salamanders.
Fun Facts:
  • Otters spend much of their time in water.   They swim with their head out of the water and the back partially exposed!
  • They propel themselves in the water by making sinuous movements of the body and tail and occasionally paddling with hind feet!   The maximum speed in the water is about 6 mph and they can remain submerged for up to 2 minutes and have been known to dive to depths of 30 to 45 feet!
  • The family unit is considered the mother and her pups.  she gives birth to 1-5 pups in a den and the male is kept away for at least 6 months!
  • The population of otters has been greatly reduced due to hunting for their fur and pollution.  There are now programs to reintroduce otters into various parts of the country where they can no longer be found!

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