Seven years old would be fairly old for a river otter in the wild, as they’ll typically live to be about 10 years old. However, in an Aquarium setting the otters get restaurant quality food and excellent health care. And they don't have to worry about predators. As a result, their life span should be considerably longer. Pete and Delmar have been going strong since we received them from the Pittsburg Zoo and Aquarium and we expect them to live into their teens.
Since our wily weasels are so active, they have a daily schedule that ensures they get multiple feedings (have to support that high metabolism!), training, and enrichment. In the picture above, these visitors learn about an enrichment activity as part of the Tennessee Aquarium's Backstage Pass Tour.
River Otter Fun Facts:
· - Pete is the bigger otter. He’s taller when standing on his back legs, and has a patch of pale fur on his chest. -- Delmar is shorter and darker.
· - When given frozen treats, the otters love to hide them from one another in rock crevices and up behind the wall on their rock beach.
· - Our otters will NOT share food, but typically get along well in other regards.
· - The otters have tried smelt, capelin, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. They’ve never met a fish they didn’t like.- Delmar in particular loves to dig in pine straw, carry it around and make a mess with it.
Text by otter keeper Courtney Lewis. Photos by Meredith Lewallen.