Eurasian Otter

Latin Name Lutra lutra
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae
IUCN status Near threatened
Habitat Highland and lowland lakes, steams, marshes and coastal waters
Distribution Range covers Europe, Asia and Africa in many of these areas the otter is extinct or reduced to small fragmented groups

General Information

Otters are semi-aquatic animals eating fish, frogs, crabs, small birds and mammals. In most of its range it is nocturnal except in the Shetlands where it is diurnal. The Eurasian otter is a solitary animal with the female rearing the cubs on her own. This otter is extremely susceptible to human destruction of its territory although there are signs of increased otter activity closer to towns etc.

Fun Fact

Otters don’t just have whiskers around the muzzle and nose, they have a few stiff whiskers on their elbows too – this helps them to detect vibrations in the water to track down moving prey.

Keeper Notes

We care for around 15 – 20 wild rescue otters every year until their release at approximately 12-15 months old.
We have 5 resident Eurasian Otters - Sixpence, Doris, Topaz, Fenn and Millie, who have come from various rescues over the years and are unable to return to the wild - they have a permanent, safe, home at the Park.