North American River Otters

River Otter EED (retired) – Location Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The EED created for the otters had a box with buttons that the otters could press with their noses. This EED’s features included dispensing floating balls, fish, and a water spray. The EED would also play an enticing “ta da da CHARGE” sound that meant the items would be dispensed.

Otter investigating installation of EED (as seen in public viewing area)

North American Otter Facts:

North American river otters are swimming mammals that live in the water on a part-time basis, as they also spend significant amount of time on land. The nocturnal creatures, who are related to weasels, are a common presence in oceans, wetlands, reservoirs, rivers and lakes.  Otters have long whiskers, which they use to detect prey in dark or cloudy water, and clawed feet for grasping onto slippery prey. They are very flexible and can make sharp, sudden turns that help them catch fish.  They are renowned for their sense of play. Otter play mostly consists of wrestling and chasing.  Otters rely upon play to learn survival skills such as fighting and hunting.  Their life expectancy is 10 to 15 years in the wild and 25 years in human care at zoos and aquariums.