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Otters, Otters Everywhere

February 5, 2016
Photo by D Coetzee via Flickr

Otters frolic at the Oakland Zoo.

By Joshua J.

You may think you know a lot about otters, our school mascot. But do you know where to find them in Oakland?

Otters live at the Oakland Zoo. Wyatt the river otter came all the way from Texas, very far from here. Zookeepers brought him to the zoo in July 2014 to mate with two otters named Ginger and Rose.

“We are very happy to have Wyatt joining our otter group,” said Zoological Manager Margaret Rousser. “We think he will be a great mate, so that we can continue to be one of the leading zoos breeding otters in captivity.” Zookeepers are hoping there may be some otter pups born this spring.

If you don’t have time to go to the zoo, you might see an otter at Lake Merritt. People have spotted otters in Lake Merritt and Lake Temescal in recent years. No one is exactly sure how they are getting there. Maybe they use underground water tunnels or go through pipes. One special thing about river otters is that they can swim and walk on land, so they can really get around. They must like the environment in Lake Merritt and have decided that it is a good place to be.

Here’s a cool thing to do on the weekend: Be an otter spotter! Go to Lake Merritt, have a picnic, and watch for otters. Check out www.riverotterecology.org to learn how to spot an otter and find a map showing where other people have seen otters in the Bay Area. Spotting an otter should be easy — they will be the ones in the water having all the fun!

Photo: D Coetzee via Flickr / Creative Commons

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