The Edward Mardigian, Sr. River Otter Habitat provides a naturalistic environment for our river otters and features an 5,900-gallon pool complete with waterfall and waterslide, and the habitat is designed so that small children can view the otters at eye level as they swim. The indoor habitat allows visitors to watch the long-bodied mammals swimming and playing up-close.
The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) can weigh 20-30 pounds, and its slender, cylindrical body can reach 2-3 feet in length. The aquatic mammal sports short, dense, waterproof fur and profuse whiskers. The playful river otter is swift on land as well as in the water, though its loping trot can look somewhat ungainly compared to its graceful slide through the water.
Once abundant in U.S. and Canadian rivers, lakes and coastal areas, river otter populations have suffered significant declines as a result of fur trapping, water pollution, habitat destruction, pesticides and other threats. Today, they can be found in parts of Canada, the Northwest, the upper Great Lakes area, New England and Atlantic and Gulf Coast states.
Updated June 8, 2012 11:45:16 EDT
- The Detroit Zoo Press Release is found here.
- Coverage of the Otter Pups Debut can be found on Channel 4's Click On Detroit Website
- The Detroit Free Press covers the Otter Pups' debut - Click Here
- MyFoxDetroit.com announces Otter Pups' debut - Click Here
- The Huffpost Detroit reports as well - Click Here
- The Daily Tribune's coverage is here - Click here