Monday, July 6, 2009

New Otter Arrives from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago

Summer is the perfect time to bring family and visitors for a picnic, or leisurely stroll in the
shade, at the zoo. We have special surprises in store for you if you haven’t visited us recently. Anna now shares her large exhibit and two-tiered swimming pool with Charlie, our new North American River Otter; and they are getting along famously. They are the same age, and Charlie was rescued, like Anna.

He was sent to us because we had ample room for him, and in the hopes that they might mate.
In the past, river otters lived along the Rio Grande riparian zone in New Mexico, but hunting
and habitat encroachment depleted their numbers in the southwest United States. Conservation
efforts are being made to stabilize populations. In some wild river areas of New Mexico they are now being reintroduced. The zookeepers are proud to have these otters in their care, here on exhibit at the Alameda Park Zoo. These two are very playful and they like to show off for visitors.

The photo above shows Charlie and Anna
playing underwater.

In the wild: North American river
otters build their homes, or dens, in
burrows left by other aquatic mammals
or in natural hollows along river banks.
Dens have underwater entrances and a
tunnel leading to a nest chamber that
is lined for warmth and comfort with
leaves, grass, moss, bark, and hair.
River otters can make a variety of
noises to communicate.