Two North American Otters are ready to celebrate World Otter day in Alabama.
“Lisa” and “Dot” are a mother/daughter duo who reside at the Montgomery Zoo. Unfortunately, the events planned for World Otter Day on May 25 have been postponed due to inclement weather, but that won’t stop the busy mammals from having a great time in their habitat.
Native to Alabama, the otter species is known for its playful nature. They can be found in local rivers, lakes and estuaries. Otters are crucial to their environment as predators since they control prey populations. It’s a good sign to see otters because it means the ecosystem is healthy.
At the zoo, the “girl’s” favorite pass time is napping in the warm sun but they also enjoy interacting with guests and their keepers throughout the day, especially during training sessions and while playing with enrichment items.
As a precursor to World Otter Day, the zoo hosted its first World Otter Day Waterway Clean-up at Lagoon Park to give back and keep local otter habitats healthy Saturday, May 21. Coosa River Adventures in Wetumpka donated a $65 gift certificate that was given away to one of the volunteers and six bags of trash were collected.
A river otter’s diet consists of a variety of fish, crawfish, small birds and some small mammals. These girls love their Caplin fish but also really enjoy new novel food items such as clams and live minnows.
Otters have incredibly thick fur that helps keep them warm and allows them to repel water. They also have webbed feet and a streamlined body that makes them expert swimmers. “Lisa” and “Dot” love showing off their diving and swimming skills to zoo guests.
Otters are extremely intelligent animals, with an intense curiosity and willingness to explore. Our zookeepers love to challenge and stimulate “Lisa” and Dot” mentally by providing enrichment items that encourage them to use their intelligence to perform natural behaviors. The girls also participate in training sessions with their zookeepers to allow for voluntary medical evaluations and procedures.
Patrons of the Montgomery Zoo can learn more about these wonderful aquatic creatures while collecting trading cards, fact sheets and coloring pages when World Otter Day is rescheduled.
UPDATE: The Montgomery Zoo will celebrate World Otter Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 29.
The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum is a 42-acre zoological facility located minutes from the heart of historic, downtown Montgomery. The Montgomery Zoo features five continental realms displaying a variety of exotic animals native to Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America. A trademark addition of the Zoo is the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, housing the one of the Southeast’s largest collections of preserved North American wildlife, artifacts, and fossils.