Otters

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Otter near a river bank

Otter Information

Otters are friendly, semi-aquatic animals that feed heavily on fish, shellfish, and sometimes even waterfowl. Although otters are not known to bother humans directly, their fish hunting activities can be problematic to water areas that humans frolic and the surrounding infrastructures, making otter control and removal necessary. Their hunting activities on water and land can result in significant financial losses for fish farms and other businesses and should be handled quickly, safely, and effectively.

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What does an Otter look like?

Otters have elongated, slender bodies similar to weasels. They regularly reach almost 50 inches in length and typically weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. Females are usually a bit smaller than males and have four mammary glands located on their upper chests. Expert swimmers, otters possess webbed feet and flattened tails used for aquatic acrobatics. The animals also have small ears and prominent nose pads on their snouts.

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What does an Otter eat?

River otters mostly feed on fish and shellfish, but they also make occasional meals out of waterfowl. Sea otters exclusively eat fish and shellfish and are actually considered a keystone species, as they moderate sea urchin populations. Otters have hands capable of grasping objects, which are useful for cracking open shellfish against rocks.

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Otter habitats

Favored otter habitats include fresh inland waters and costal sea shores. North American river otters prefer to live in fresh water systems with plentiful food sources. Sea otters are only found in the Pacific Sea.