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River Otters


If you get the chance to admire some river otters in Wisconsin, treasure it for as long as you can. It is the entertainment of a lifetime. River otters are known to be extremely playful and fun to watch. They like jumping in and out of water and enjoy chasing each other around. River otters are so adapted to water that they are able to stay underwater for up to four minutes. An interesting fact about the river otter is that because of the time that they spend grooming their fur with their forepaws, their fur becomes waterproof. This is a great advantage for them since they spend so much time in the water.

Many humans will tend to trap the river otters either for their soft fur or because of their unfortunate liking for fish. If you have a favorite fishing spot in the nearby river, you might have a competitor for "the big one." Wisconsin river otters are known for taking all day fishing trips. River otters do however; do what they need to keep other animals out of their territory. They will cover the area in their feces, urine, and musk to warn others away. This may sound disturbing, but is successful. River otters have many interesting qualities and adaptations that make them wonderful entertainment.


Name: River Otters

Scientific Name: Lutra canadensis

Measurements: length: 2-4ft, weight: 44-82lbs, tail length: 1-1.5ft

Habitat: anywhere near water

Diet: varieties of fish, birds, and vegetation

Behavior: very playful, like to play with prey, travel during winter by pushing off with feet and sliding across snow.

Reproduction: 2-4 pups born in April-may, gestation for one year, after one year of age-go out on their own to find their own territories.

Predators: human, bald eagles, some bears, and coyotes.

Life Expectancy: 10-15 years old in wild.

Extra Facts: largest member of the weasel family, make high-pitched scream when fighting or mating, can dive depths of more than 40ft.

Part of Wisconsin it generally resides: mainly in northern portion of Wisconsin, but some can be found in other parts of the state.

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