The River Otter

River otters can grow to 1.4 meters long and can weigh up to nearly 30 lbs. They have the longest lasting fur of the entire Otter / Weasel family. They have strong webbed feet for swimming, a long strong tail and thick claws. They usually have dark fur with a lighter belly.

Their favorite foods are fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects.

River otters give birth to two or three “kits” and the mom looks after them until they are 12 or 13 months old. They have “delayed implantation,” meaning that after the egg is fertilized it stays in the uterus of the mother for nine months until it attaches and begins to grow. River otters can live up to five years. Their greatest threats are habitat destruction, pollution in the water, and trapping for fur. They are hunted by Bald Eagles, some Bears and Coyotes.

Typically they are quite shy, very fast and hard to photograph but this one entertained me for the better part of an hour on a rocky shoreline deep in the heart of “The Great Bear Rainforest” in May of 2018. 

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