Southern Sea Otter

Enhydra lutris nereis

At the Detroit Zoo
The Arctic Ring of Life is home to two southern sea otters, Monte and Finn, who were rescued at different times along the California coast.

The otters can be viewed inside the Arctic Ring of Life habitat. While viewing the sea otters from the underwater tunnels, guests may see green algae in the habitat. This is a natural part of the sea otters’ habitat and does not impact the animals’ well-being.

Sea otters’ fur color ranges from dark to reddish brown with a lighter colored head. Their fur is very dense to keep them warm in the cold ocean waters. Sea otters can often be seen grooming. A healthy coat is critical for their well-being. They have retractable claws on their front feet perfectly designed for grooming, and their hind feet are webbed for swimming.

Southern sea otters are endangered and at risk due to human threats such as pollution, oil spills, marine debris and over-fishing.

Fun Facts

  • Sea otters consume up to 25% of their body weight each day.

  • Sea otters have the densest fur of all mammals.

  • A group of sea otters is called a raft.